SCOTLAND have lost both Finn Russell and Adam Hastings, their first and second choice stand-offs, for the remainder of this Autumn’s Nations Cup series, with Hastings also likely to miss next year’s Six Nations.
Russell picked up a groin injury midway through the first half of last Saturday’s away win against Wales and was replaced in the crucial chief playmaker role by Hastings, who then ‘popped’ his shoulder early in the second-half. The 24-year-old initially played on but then repeated the injury and had to come off with just over 10 minutes of the match to go.
“Finn has a groin abductor tear,” explained head coach Gregor Townsend. “He doesn’t require surgery following scans and meeting with his doctor as well as our doctors. We are aiming for around two months – it could be a couple of weeks later, it could be a couple of weeks earlier. Two months is the target they have discussed. He will be back at Racing later today [Wednesday].
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“With Adam, we were obviously hoping that the damage on his shoulder would not require an operation. He was feeling good after the game but there is sufficient damage in there that surgery is required. He will get that as soon as possible and be out for four months following that.”
Townsend added that it is impossible to retrospectively say whether it was a mistake to let Hastings play on until 10 minutes to go following an initial injury on his shoulder early in the second half.
“Who knows?” he replied. “It had gone out and gone back in quite quickly. He continued and was in no pain and did really well after that. If a player was in pain or felt he could not do his role he would have come off. He carried on and it was one of these unfortunate things.
“He must have landed on a sensitive area or an area that made it come lose again. Maybe there were some underlying issues there and it came out and now we have to make sure it gets fixed so the rest of his career he is not in a place to re-injure that shoulder.
“It is a blow for both players, a blow for us to lose both of them in the same position. They have not had many injuries in their career. In our sport, you tend to get an injury every couple of years, so let’s hope that they get through rehab really quickly and come back stronger and still have rugby to play this year.”