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Concern over latest McCabe injury

Fri, 31 Jan 2014 12:34
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It could not have been a worse start to the year for the Brumbies - losing their opening trial match and seeing star back Pat McCabe go down again.

McCabe, who has already overcome a neck fracture twice, was returning to action when he suffered a head knock as the Brumbies were overrun 15-11 by the Highlanders in a trial match in Queenstown on Friday.

His troubles started in November 2012 - when the 24-year-old had a fracture in the C1 vertebra, one of the most serious neck injuries. In June last year he re-injured his neck when hit, seemingly innocuously, by Lions wing Alex Cuthbert in the first Test in Brisbane, opening up the same fracture.

McCabe was looking to bounce back from those injuries to resume his place as one of Australia’s premier backs.

The head knock, which caused considerable concern in the Wallaby camp, is another major blow.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told the media that he was unsure how long McCabe, a veteran of 20 Tests, would be out of action.

"We'll have to be very careful," the Wallaby legend said.

''He just got a bit dazed, he didn't get knocked out,'' Larkham added.

''We'll be very careful. At this stage it's nothing to do with his neck - which is good.

"Concussions are very serious. We'll follow the protocols and make a decision."

The good news for last year's Super Rugby runners-up is that stand-in captain and world class Wallabies flank David Pocock played a solid 40 minutes on Friday in his first game back since last year's season-ending knee injury.

"He went well, got himself involved and didn't look like he was thinking about his knee at all," Larkham told AAP.

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