STEPHEN Larkham's hopes of making his return off the bench against Canada in Bordeaux on Saturday have been dashed after his injured knee became infected.In a major blow to Australia's ***le hopes, Larkham has undergone another arthroscopy and has been ruled out of their next two matches.At best he will return in time for a possible semi-final clash against the All Blacks but may have to come off the bench.
The 102-Test veteran, currently on a drip, will remain in hospital for another day or two after having surgery last night.The symptoms of the infection flared yesterday when he was due to resume running in a bid to return off the bench against Canada."We hope he will be out (of hospital) tomorrow but he definitely won't be considered for this weekend or the following weekend," coach John Connolly said."He got up yesterday morning to start running. It was sore and it as just the start of an infection and he spent the night in there getting treated."He's very disappointed obviously, he was coming along quite well.
"It was one of those freak accidents."Wallabies medical officer Dr Martin Raftery explained the infection was an unlucky result of Larkham's initial arthroscopy in Montpellier on September 16 to remove a floating bone fragment.While the infection was external, between the skin and the knee capsule, fluid needed to be flushed through the knee to ensure the infection hadn't penetrated the joint's casing.
"It's a recognised complication of surgery and whenever you do any surgery one of the risks is infection," Dr Raftery said."You have bugs on your skin and when you insert a foreign instrument into your body you can take those bugs through to your knee joint and that's what's happened."It's just unlucky."Dr Raftery said it was difficult to form a proper prognosis but confirmed a semi-final return was a best-case scenario.Larkham has not trained since September 14 and probably won't resume running for more than a week.The Wallabies five-eighth underwent an arthroscope in Montpellier nine days ago after injuring his knee during kicking practice on the eve of the group match against Wales.The Wallabies had been delighted with Larkham's progress since then, and were planning to play him off the bench for about 15 minutes against Canada before using him in the quarter-finals. Larkham was expected to start running again at training in Montpellier yesterday afternoon, local time.However, those plans were called off just before training when it was discovered he had an infection in his knee.
if larkhams gone how do you think we'l go whol step in his shoes 10. barnes or 10 giteau with staniforth or aac at 12?? if he cant make the semis our chances will look much more slim