SBW could play round one of Super rugby - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

SBW could play round one of Super rugby

01/02/2011 04:27:24 PM Comments (0)

Boxing All Black Sonny Bill Williams could yet be fit in time to play the first round of Super Rugby after a positive assessment of his leg stress fracture.

Williams met with All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson and her Crusaders counterpart Martin Swan on return to New Zealand following his heavyweight fight on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

"He had a re-X-ray and the X-ray looks really good," Robinson said.

The big centre has a stress fracture of the left fibula bone, which was diagnosed towards the end of the All Blacks tour of the UK late last year.

"He's had lots of bone healing, there's certainly no concerns about it, there's no new injury and he's come through the last month well.

"We're a bit reluctant to commit ourselves to say he'll be ready for round one (of the Super 15 in less than three weeks) but he maybe," she said optimistically.

Williams, who won a unanimous points decision over Scott Lewis in Saturday night's fight, was criticised over his decision to take the bout while injured.

But Robinson even went as far as saying that boxing is good preparation and that most other players indulge in this form of preparation, albeit not a full professional bout.

"He's been boxing-fighting and we are going to get him back into rugby training," she said, indicating that he will begin running with the Crusaders immediately.

"But it will take two or three sessions of running to see how he's going."

Robinson said a fibula stress fracture related "to the mechanics of running" and added that "boxing training was actually the right sort of load".

"He was great. He followed our instructions really well and had no problems at all through that month," she said.

Robinson praised Williams' attitude to training: "I don't think you could fault the guy - he does everything you ask of him and he works very, very hard."

Because Williams' decision to fight in the pre-season was unique in New Zealand rugby, Robinson was unable to say if his boxing preparation had hindered his recovery from injury. However, she and Swan have assessed that Williams is not worse off because of the fight.

Robinson said Williams will start "walk-jogging" and then build-up to full pace.

"Running at pace and changing direction provide more of a risk," Swan said of the decision to build up his running in stages. He added that Williams is in very good shape "from a cardiac point of view".

"Everything from our point of view seems very positive," Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said. "We'll just wait and see."

Blackadder said a decision on Williams' availability will be made in the week preceding the first match against the Blues on February 19, in Auckland.

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