Phil Waugh ready to return to Super battle - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Phil Waugh ready to return to Super battle

By Ben Horne 28/02/2011 06:58:51 PM Comments (0)

NSW captain Phil Waugh is confident no further damage can be done to his injured bicep by making an astonishingly early return to Super Rugby this Friday night.

The tough-as-nails flanker was expected to require surgery and miss up to three months as a result of the significant damage he suffered to the bicep in last Saturday's win over Queensland.

But instead of confirming with the gathered media on Monday that he would be sidelined for more than 10 weeks, Waugh dropped the bombshell that he'd be training on Tuesday and taking on the Crusaders in New Zealand on Friday.

Despite the extreme pain he felt in the moments after he smashed Reds winger Digby Ioane, Waugh declared he would have soldiered on in the second half had he known he couldn't do any more damage to his arm.

Provided he gets through Tuesday's contact session, the Waratahs skipper will make a courageous - or some would say crazy - trip to Nelson, confident he will get through the 80 minutes.

"I guess that's the pleasing part of it, it's not going to get any worse and that's the confidence I've got going into the game that the damage is done and now it's just a matter of strengthening it and managing it and I'm fairly confident with how it will go," said Waugh.

"Every game is important and it's important too to go out there and win on Friday night."

Waugh revealed he has barely slept the past two days, as he consigned himself to a large chunk of time on the sidelines.

But the 31-year-old said he woke up feeling good on Monday and his optimism was confirmed by the result of an MRI, a meeting with a specialist, and some thorough work by the Waratahs medical team.

"There is significant damage to the tendon. It's as expected but the prognosis of it, the treatment of it, is a little bit different to what we first thought," he said.

"We've obviously done a fair bit of investigation over the past couple of days on what were the alternative options and we opted to go with the conservative approach (non surgical) and hopefully it comes through well.

"The medical staff here at the Waratahs have been superb in researching the injury and looking at other options and it actually feels far better than what I thought it would."

Waratahs coach Chris Hickey said Waugh had earned the right to make a call on whether he's right to play or not.

"If he's made the decision that he's right to play then he's right to play," said Hickey.

"I think it's indicative of Phil's attitude towards his game and his determination to continue playing and leading the Waratahs throughout this Super Rugby season."

Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau (shoulder), Dave Dennis (calf) and Berrick Barnes (concussion) are also expected to play on Friday, but must also prove their fitness at Tuesday's training session.

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