HAMISH Watson, who has been out of action since sustaining a head injury playing for Scotland against New Zealand last month, is now a doubt for the start of the Six Nations.
Edinburgh coach Mike Blair explained this afternoon that, while the back-row forward was making good progress and had resumed some light training on his own, he is still some way from making a return. Asked if Watson would be back for the beginning of the Championship, Blair said: “I would have thought around that time.” Scotland’s first game in the tournament is away to England on 4 February.
Blair said: “Hamish had his head knock. He has seen the specialist [Professor Toni Belli] down in Birmingham and we are waiting to see the scan results.
“Everything else has come through as fine – but because he has had a number [of concussions] in a short time he has to have an enforced break. We’re not 100 percent sure when he will be back, but he is feeling really good and he’s doing a lot of running and weights.
“The specialist has worked with the military a lot. Our guys go to see him. I think it is great the care the guys are getting. It is not so much that we are getting more head knocks – we’re just more conscious of them and make sure guys get the right treatment.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally is set to miss both of this season’s 1872 Cup games against Glasgow this Friday and next after he was concussed in the win against Castres last Saturday. “Stuart is definitely unavailable for the next couple of weeks,” said Blair.
With Dave Cherry and Adam McBurney still sidelined by injury, the coach is expected to name Tom Cruse and Patrick Harrison as his two hookers in the squad for Friday. Harri Morris is back-up after returning from a loan spell at London Scottish.
“Dave will be back in the next couple of weeks,” the coach added. “Adam will be back mid-January. So that’s when the reinforcements arrive – we’re holding on a bit till then.
“Paddy has done realty well with the opportunities he has had and Tom was excellent at the weekend as well. We’re fortunate we have a number in that position.”
Blair is hopeful that Blair Kinghorn and Luke Crosbie, who like McInally were injured against the French side, will be available for Friday. And he is confident that Duhan van der Merwe, who had to pull out of the Champions Cup game because of an ankle injury, will also be able to play against Glasgow.
“Blair had a back spasm. With those you never really know how long they’re going to take to clear up. He didn’t train today, but our expectation is that he should be available for selection on Friday.
“Luke has had a pretty heavy workload over the past four weeks. He had yesterday off to refresh himself and put himself in the position to be available.
“Duhan is fine. Duhan trained the day before the game and we just felt we didn’t want to risk him, because he wasn’t quite there. But he trained fully today and there were no issues.”