Concussion symptoms put Barrett on 'doubtful' list
INJURY UPDATE: All Black coach Steve Hansen has a new headache, literally, as the British and Irish Lions tour draw nearer.
Star flyhalf Beauden Barrett has joined the 'doubtful' list, after it was revealed that his late withdrawal from the Hurricanes' 34-20 win over the Bulls was the result of some 'mystery headaches'.
Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd told a post-match media briefing that the decision to withdraw Barrett was made after doctors were unable to isolate the reasons for his condition.
Barrett had taken a blow to his head in the 61-7 victory over the Cheetahs in Wellington on May 20, but had passed a concussion test at the time.
"When we came over here [to South Africa] he's had some headaches and the doctor was unable to differentiate between the altitude, the humidity, the air conditioning - because when you come over here on a short turnaround, the headaches and those types of symptoms are pretty normal," Boyd said.
"But the fact that he couldn't isolate those out from the back-end of the game against the Cheetahs meant that we were very cautious and withdrew him out of the game," he said.
The Hurricanes have already lost captain Dane Coles, who has been missing since the middle of March, to similar symptoms, but Boyd says the circumstances around Barrett's case are different as Coles' problems arose after he exercised.
"[Beauden] was really different because every time he exercised, every time he trained, he got absolutely no symptoms at all.
"But the next morning he woke up with a headache, which probably eighty percent of the squad did because we're trying to get used to the altitude and trying to get used to the temperature and trying to get used to all sorts of things.
"But when you speak to the medical team, it's like what is inducing that? Is it a continuation of some head knock symptoms or what's going on? So we weren't able to differentiate from that and we pulled him out at captain's run yesterday [Friday]."
Boyd said the match against the Bulls had been one of the toughest under during his tenure with the team.
"In the period I have been with the Canes it's probably the most battered changing room I have seen.
"We were not great technically or tactically, but we take a lot of positives in the fact we went deep in the well emotionally and did pretty well."
Injuries out of the match included openside Ardie Savea and lock Mark Abbott, both coming from the field with head knocks as well as wing Wes Goosen suffering a shoulder injury.
Sources: Reuters & stuff.co.nz