Injury sidelines Thomson for 10 weeks

Monday, September 20, 2010    NZPA    

The rangy loose forward injured a knee during yesterday's ITM Cup match late in the 13-8 loss to Northland in Dunedin -- his 50th match for Otago.

An MRI scan at Dunedin hospital this afternoon revealed that Thomson who has been one of Otago's best players in the NPC, had suffered a grade two sprain to the medial ligament of his right knee.

The Otago team medical staff expect the recovery time for this type of injury to be between eight weeks meaning he has lost the chance to push for a place in the All Blacks' end of year tour beginning in November.

Thomson, 28, made his international debut in 2008 as the All Blacks sought to replace the retired Jerry Collins and went on to play 10 tests that year.

He won five caps last year but has played just two All Blacks tests this year, starting both against touring Wales.

He has since dropped down the pecking order with Auckland's Jerome Kaino, Wellington's Victor Vito and Waikato's Liam Messam preferred for the blindside flanker's spot.

He recently ended speculation about a move to the Crusaders for next year's Super 15 competitions by re-signing with the Highlanders.

Meanwhile, any games replacement coach Gordon Tietjens calls up in place of Thomson will have to approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Wellington wing Julian Savea and Bay of Plenty's Solomon King have been named as stand-by players and will travel with Tietjens' squad to Dubai on October 1 for Games preparations.

Also in doubt for the Games are sevens captain DJ Forbes, who has barely run for the past two months while recovering from a groin injury and playmaker Tomasi Cama, who fractured his cheek last month playing for Manawatu.

Forbes returned to the fray off the reserve bench for Counties Manukau in yesterday's loss to Bay of Plenty.

Tietjens, who cannot select any All Blacks likely to tour in November, will need special clearance from the New Zealand Rugby Union if he is to pluck replacements from NPC teams.