Optimistic Latham still hopes to get to South Africa




Injured QR Queensland Reds fullback Chris Latham remains optimistic that he might be fit in time for the last game of the Reds’ three match South African tour, after medical staff narrowed down his recovery time to 2-3 weeks.

Still in considerable pain from rib cartilage damage suffered in the Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens, Latham rates the injury the most painful he’s ever experienced, and vows he won’t be rushing his return.

The original prognosis was for anything up to six weeks, so today’s advice from the Reds’ doctor was welcome news for the Wallaby fullback despite his initial optimism that he might be able to join the team in South Africa a lot earlier.

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“He’s told me roughly 2-3 weeks’ which gives me a lot less time than I was expecting but not back as quickly as I would have liked.

“I’m hoping to get to the last game in Africa, that’d be the more realistic goal.

‘I’m going to start treatment today on a few things which will supposedly help the healing process.’

Latham said he would not play until his ribs were right.

“I thought a cracked sternum would have been my worst injury but now I’ve had these ribs they come down to probably being the worst injury I’ve had.

‘I certainly won’t be putting myself through this type of pain again. I’ll be making sure that they’re 100 per cent better and ready to go by the time I go back.’

Latham said the injury meant every move that involved using his abdominal muscles was painful.

‘You never realise how much you do actually use your abs. I can’t run or do anything. Obviously it all involves using your abs and I just can’t do that at the moment.’

Latham is also carrying two fractured ribs suffered a month ago, which were only discovered when he was being examined for the cartilage injury.

“I’m starting to feel a bit old every time I talk about it, but it’s just been one of those starts to the year that haven’t been one of the best, but it can only get better from here, so hopefully once I get back that’ll be the end of it (injuries) for the rest of the year and I can just get on with playing some good footy.’

The Reds are in Durban preparing for their Tooheys New Super 14 match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Friday, March 24 (early am Saturday, Australian time). Following that they play the Sharks in Durban and the Cats in Johannesburg on April 8.

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