In a bitter blow to the Qantas Wallabies, rampaging Melbourne Rebels loose forward Scott Higginbotham is out of Rugby for the rest of the year.
Higginbotham, who has played 23 Tests since his debut against France on the 2010 Spring Tour, dislocated his right shoulder making a tackle during last Saturday night’s 20-33 loss to the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The injury was allowed to settle for a few days, and he was assessed by the Qantas Wallabies medical staff in Sydney on Monday, but scans revealed extensive ligament damage, which meant a full shoulder reconstruction is required.
Higginbotham has returned to Melbourne where he will undergo the surgery.
The rehabilitation timelines are such that he is not expected to be fit to return to play until the start of next year’s Super Rugby competition.
Higginbotham has requested time out from the media until such time as the surgery has been completed and the rehabilitation process is underway.