McCalman hopes to be on home stretch

Super Rugby
AAP
by AAP

Western Force skipper Ben McCalman says even surgeons are mystified about his troublesome right shoulder, but he hopes to return by the end of May.

McCalman twice fractured his scapula while playing for the Wallabies last year, and he suffered a third break when he made his Super Rugby return in the Force's round-seven win over the Kings.

The 29-year-old has visited specialists all around Australia in a bid to get to the bottom of his troubles, and he hopes they have finally come up with the solution.

McCalman underwent an anti-inflammatory injection in his shoulder while undergoing an MRI scan in a bid to ease the nerve pain.

He also hopes a new rehab program will have his shoulder in tip-top shape.

Ben McCalman's sideline stint will stretch to one more week. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyMcCalman will miss at least three more games but hopes to be back in time to take on the Reds in Queensland on May 26.

However, McCalman knows his limited game time means he faces an uphill battle to win Wallabies selection for next month's Tests against Fiji, Scotland, and Italy.

But his main priority is healing his shoulder and ensuring no more fractures occur.

"It's a very small fracture, but it causes pain in that shoulder," McCalman said.

"The people I speak to - like doctors and surgeons - are unfamiliar with this injury.

"It's extremely rare to have a recurring fracture. They expect it to heal in four to six weeks. But mine hasn't seemed to do that.

"It's been a bit of trial and error in the last six to nine months. Hopefully now we're more across it and we get it right this time."

McCalman has endured a frustrating debut season as Force skipper.

He missed the first six rounds after dislocating a thumb during the pre-season before fracturing his shoulder in his first game back.

The Force were fired up in Sydney. Photo: Getty ImageesWorse is the fact it has occurred during a season when the Force's very future remains in doubt, with either the Perth club or the Rebels facing the axe.

Threats of legal action by both clubs mean a final decision might not be made until later this month at the earliest.

In the meantime, both the Force and Rebels are unable to re-sign any of their non-Wallaby players.

McCalman is doing his best to convince his teammates to stay at the Force.

But if the situation keeps dragging out, players may be left with no other option but to take up opportunities overseas in order to guarantee their futures.

"They need certainty," McCalman said.

"Potentially if they don't look at other areas at the moment, then they might be left stranded next year.

"They want to sign here, but they're frustrated they can't."

The injury-hit Force haven't given up hope of reaching the finals, and face a crunch clash with the Sharks in Durban on Saturday.

The Force take on the Sharks on Saturday, kicking from 11:05pm AEST LIVE ON FOX SPORTS.

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