GLASGOW WARRIORS are expected to be without Kyle Steyn for up to three months as the club captain recovers from ankle surgery.
The Scotland winger was slated to undergo an operation this afternoon [Thursday] after sustaining a knock late in last weekend’s 34-26 defeat to Connacht at the Sportsground.
Pete Murchie, Warriors’ assistant coach, had expressed a hope on Monday that Steyn’s injury would prove to be “not serious” but that hasn’t turned out to be the case, with head coach Franco Smith expecting to be without the player for 10 to 12 weeks.
That timeline would see Steyn miss both URC and Champions Cup fixtures for Glasgow over the winter and would also make him a major doubt for the start of the Six Nations that gets underway at the start of February.
Speaking to discuss his team selection ahead of Friday night’s home URC fixture against DHL Stormers, Smith revealed the severity of Steyn’s injury.
“Kyle is getting operated on this afternoon at 3 o’clock,” said the South African. “So he’ll be out for 10 to 12 weeks.
“It might be a little earlier but it will be around about then. Hopefully before Christmas we’ll have him back training on the field and then we’ll see how he develops.
“Kyle has been an exceptional choice as captain. The players have all the respect for him and we as a coaching group have all the respect for him.
“He’s been doing exactly what was expected from our side and much more and we’re very happy with him.
“But with the type of game that we’re in and the length of the seasons we expect injuries like this. Rory Darge had a big injury last year, as did Scotty Cummings.
“But the season is so long that you could get injured twice and still be involved in the back end.
“That’s why I said from the beginning that a proper squad is the most important thing in this competition so that we have someone who can replace the injured players.”
Huw Jones went off in the same match with a toe injury, with Smith expressing concerns as the club awaits a full medical diagnosis of the centre’s situation. Ali Price and Jack Dempsey are also out of the match with the URC league leaders as they both nurse knocks sustained at the World Cup with Scotland.
“With Huw we’ve had a mixed bag of feedback,” added Smith. “We’re waiting for the final outcome as more imaging was required.
“It’s a particular one as it’s his toe so we want to make sure that we get more clarity on that. It can be good news, or very bad news – we’re still waiting.
“Jack, Ali and George Turner are the three boys who are still to come in. Jack has got a wrist injury that he came back from the World Cup with so we’re still rehabilitating that.
“Ali has a bit of a groin injury that he developed over the World Cup period that we are now managing while we have George Horne, Jamie Dobie and Sean Kennedy in the building. But they’re all recovering well.
“George Turner was actually very close to being picked but unfortunately got sick with a stomach bug at the start of the week and we decided not to rush him back. Angus Fraser is doing a good job there at the moment.”
There was some good news with Sione Tuipulotu, Matt Fagerson, Ollie Smith and Jamie Bhatti all set to make their first Warriors appearances of the season.
Smith added: “I’m very excited to see Sione coming back. He’s been playing well so what an extremely good replacement for Huw at this stage.
“It’s also good to see Jamie Bhatti back. He’s still getting into the swing of things so it will be a big challenge for him to step up into our environment.
“Matt Fag brings a lot of energy and that’s important to have him back into the fold.”