As the Guinness Pro14 prepares to kick-off next week, Cardiff Blues have been hit with an injury worry to first choice fly-half Gareth Anscombe.
A groin injury picked up in pre-season training has ruled the 26-year-old out of Friday’s pre-season game against Exeter Chiefs, although he is currently undergoing a course of painkilling injections in a bid to make the first game of the season.
It will be a big concern for Anscombe after he only underwent groin surgery back in December, going on to miss two months of action during the crucial middle part of the season.
At the time of the last groin injury he told WalesOnline, “I had a couple of nerves in the groin that had been troubling me for quite some time. I was having injections before the start of the season. It was probably at its worst in the autumn internationals. It came to a front there.
“I guess after the games there it was just troubling me so much. It kind of limited me a bit which is frustrating, when you want to play at your best and you can’t. So I went to Munich and had that cleared up.”
Having only signed a new National Dual Contract at the end of last season he would have been hoping to stay fit, but now adds a further groin concern to a list of injuries that includes hip, hamstring and ankle knocks.
With the season just a few days away the timing could not have been worse for Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson, as he loses one of his star names, although he has the experience of Steve Shingler and young prospect Jarrod Evans to rely on.
Memories of last season’s injury crisis, when the Blues were missing 19 players to the treatment room at one point in December, will be at the forefront of Wilson’s mind as looks at his currently list of fitness worries.
Gethin Jenkins and Blaine Scully will both miss the first few weeks of the season, with knee and elbow injuries respectively, Rhun Williams has seemingly not overcome an ankle injury, while Nick Williams and George Earle also miss the Exeter friendly.
There is some good news though in that Brad Thyer, Josh Turnbull, Lewis Jones and Dan Fish all came through their returns from long-term injuries against London Scottish unscathed last week.
Anscombe himself will be hoping to overcome this fitness concern quickly with Autumn Internationals against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa approaching on the horizon.