Scotland star suffers broken neck
Scotland centre Joe Ansbro will be sidelined for up to three months after suffering a broken neck while playing for London Irish.
Scotland centre Joe Ansbro will be sidelined for up to three months after suffering a broken neck while playing for London Irish in a pre-season friendly against Munster.
Ansbro was taken to University Hospital in Cork after breaking a bone at the top of his neck during the second half of Friday's match.
London Irish only released news of his condition on Monday, with the 26-year-old due to return to England later this week.
"Joe broke a small bone at the top of his neck early in the game's second half," a London Irish statement confirmed on Monday.
"After an MRI scan, it was confirmed that immediate surgery was not required, and the injury would be managed by external fixation."
Ansbro's father Paul revealed the Scotland star, who has won 11 caps and featured in last year's World Cup in New Zealand, initially feared the injury might have been even more serious.
"They've put a metal halo on his head that's got to be in place 24/7 for three months," Ansbro senior told BBC Scotland.
"He was really lucky that it was what they call a stable fracture and there's no nerve damage. That was the thing they were most concerned about.
"Your blood runs cold when you hear about it and it's something that every parent worries about."
While London Irish have yet to set a date for Ansbro's return, Scotland team doctor James Robson expects him to resume playing in around three months.
Robson's prognosis means Ansbro will miss Scotland's internationals against New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga later this year.
"The management of the injury Joe has sustained typically involves a period of between six and eight weeks' immobilisation," Robson said.
"After that there will be a further four to six weeks of rehabilitation before he can look at a return to the game. We wish Joe well in his recovery."