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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Drew Mitchell's horrible injury after colliding with Scott Higginbotham

Drew Mitchell's World Cup aspirations are almost certainly over as he picked up a horrific injury in Saturday's Reds vs Waratahs Super Rugby derby game in Brisbane. Mitchell suffered the injury when colliding with Scott Higginbotham.

The screams could be heard sideline as Mitchell went down in a heap clutching his leg, writhing in pain from a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula. Medics rushed on and managed to get the ankle back in place fairly quickly, but he will be out for the rest of the Super Rugby season as a result, and more than likely the World Cup too.

The injury came when Mitchell chased a kick-ahead but was impeded by Reds number eight Higginbotham, who looked to have changed his running line and lent his weight into the Waratahs flyer. While injuring him wouldn't have been the intention, opposition coach Chris Hickey was very disappointed with what happened.

"He would be devastated, particularly when it happens in an incident, someone deliberately does something that causes something to happen. It was (deliberate) and that is disappointing.

"You have a lot of mixed feelings, disappointment, anger, particularly for Drew. It's a World Cup year and his form both last year and this year have been outstanding.

"It's not only a big loss for the Waratahs, it's a big loss for the Wallabies as well. I'm not a doctor but I think you're looking at five or six months before he could play again," Hickey said.

Mitchell underwent an operation in Brisbane on Saturday which will sideline him for near on six months. It would take some kind of miracle recovery for him to be back in time for the World Cup, but the man himself is optimistic. He tweeted earlier 'Surgery apparently went well (not that they'd say otherwise haha) with a bit of luck, I'll be back on deck in a few months'.

There have been no official complaints from the Waratahs towards Higginbotham.

FYI, it was unpleasant to watch, but not too graphic as there weren't many replays. If you're squeamish at all though, please rather opt out of watching the video below.

Time: 02:57



  • First... to be sad for him.

    By Blogger maxime, at April 24, 2011 6:17 pm  

  • such a fine player and such a tragedy for the wallabies and the rugby world cup

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 6:21 pm  

  • When shit things happen to good players! What a loss for the World Cup!

    Speedy recovery (from a saffa fan!)

    By Anonymous Eben, at April 24, 2011 6:28 pm  

  • very das if he wouldnt be in the worlc cup! higginbothmas fault!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 6:35 pm  

  • i mean very sad

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 6:35 pm  

  • That looked fucking painful. Big fan a' Mitchell hope he's alright. Digby Ioane is'nt a bad replacement for the Wallabies though.
    Speedy recovery from Ireland

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 6:38 pm  

  • It's nobodies fault. People have done that a million times in rugby. It's just unfortunate that someone got hurt this time. Very upset he got hurt he was really playing well this year. However, now it's time for someone else to step up, and show what they got.

    By Blogger Hendrick, at April 24, 2011 6:39 pm  

  • Done this exact same injury back in Jan, 3 months on and im walking again fine but not running yet. He'l be very lucky if he gets to play in the world cup. hope he gets better soon!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 6:39 pm  

  • Bless him, i really hope he manages the miracle and recovers for the world cup, he of all people deserves to play in it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 6:46 pm  

  • I'm sure his fellow Wallaby teammate had no idea something that awful could've happened, as it almost never does. And I'm sure Higginbotham is more pissed at himself than anyone else could be right now.

    I had a similar thing happen to me a while back, where I was tripped up and ended up breaking my clavicle. I didn't blame the guy who tripped me...I think maybe us wingers just need to learn how to fall better!

    But the prospect of Mitchell not playing in the WC is pretty awful; he's a great player and always exciting to watch. Hopefully the fracture wasn't bad and he'll be back in time...

    By Anonymous javier, at April 24, 2011 6:49 pm  

  • This is a better dance than Ioane's. He even does a Michael Jackson AOWW.

    By Anonymous Super Rugby Dancing Rocks, at April 24, 2011 7:04 pm  

  • It's sad but you don't see anything. You might as well have just posted a news article...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 7:08 pm  

  • hope he makes a full recovery. great player

    By Anonymous Chris Boy, at April 24, 2011 7:13 pm  

  • I hope he makes it to the world cup because i have been looking forward to seeing mitchell get burned by ashton again :-)

    By Anonymous works, at April 24, 2011 7:48 pm  

  • yikes, that looked painful!
    Hope he is alright and makes a full, speedy recovery! Mitchell is such an asset to the devastating wallabies attack line!

    By Anonymous Ravenhill, at April 24, 2011 8:01 pm  

  • I did the same thing playing rugby, was actually grand after 4-6 weeks, but not fully right for 3 months. You never know, if he sticks to the physio etc. he could be back sooner rather than later, the fibula's a fairly non-consequential bone, not really weight bearing at all...

    By Blogger Der Tierarzt, at April 24, 2011 8:08 pm  

  • eat sum f***in concrete and harden the f*** up!what a bunch of cry babies the Aussies will be when they come over with out him...."if only we had drew"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 8:30 pm  

  • Why has RD taken the time to put up a video of a player breaking his leg but not any highlights of the 4 S15 games?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 9:14 pm  

  • Don't complain about free highlights videos mate!

    By Anonymous Phil, at April 24, 2011 10:01 pm  

  • if this was a south african team or match the citing would have already been announced
    from what i saw it was a purposeful block which has been deemed illegal

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 10:21 pm  

  • Urgh! Fracture dislocation. To the people that didn't see it - watch his right foot on the replay. Nasty. Lets hope he gets his surgery quickly and is up and running again pronto. He's a menace when he's playing against us. Saffa.

    By Blogger Anrowa, at April 24, 2011 10:55 pm  

  • Same injury that Piri Weepu is still recovering from.

    By Blogger Douglas, at April 24, 2011 10:57 pm  

  • Its a real shame. He's been on fire for a while now and it would have been great to see him at the RWC.

    By Anonymous Nick, at April 24, 2011 11:24 pm  

  • Disappointed to see him get hurt. Good to see he is optimistic though. Wallabies have some depth in the wingers so shouldn't be a huge setback.

    By Anonymous fizz, at April 24, 2011 11:26 pm  

  • And Higginbotham killed the best winger in the world... your country thanks you!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 24, 2011 11:30 pm  

  • Scott... nothing to say. Shame on you !

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2011 12:06 am  

  • its what cipriani did as well! they always look awful on the replays!

    By Anonymous Russell, at April 25, 2011 12:11 am  

  • Its strange how refs dont pull up that kind of thing. He clearly changed his line to get in mitchells way and even chucked a shoulder in. Ryan cross did the same thing aswell, changing his line 3 times trying to cut off a chasing player. Cynical and clearly against the rules.
    All these ridiculous penalties theyve been giving out yet this they seem to let go.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2011 12:21 am  

  • Is this the caterpillar?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2011 12:28 am  

  • blocking is one thing and I always thought it was illegal in most situations. Look at Mcallister in the 07 quarter final and Janties in the 08 autumn internationals. Not only are those actions illegal (deserving a yellow) but they are quite dangerous.

    but this wasnt a block. Higginbotham didn't turn his back and stop. He didnt't even get into mitchell;s way and stop, he threw a shoulder into him as he was deliberately obstructing him. That took it from illegal to dangerous.

    Its one thing to come in from the side of a ruck, its another thing to launch yourself in botha-style(im in favor of big clear outs- just come in through the gates)

    if higginbotham had smash mitchell either in a tackle or with ball in hand it would be a horrible accident. But as it is, this was just a deliberate and dangerous act that showed the true extent of damage that can be caused by recklessness.

    By Anonymous miguels, at April 25, 2011 12:33 am  

  • I agree with javier about Higginbotham who sure is the first to be pissed with himself.

    These things happen in a very different ways, even without fault of anyone, DM could injuried by himself.

    Best wishes and quickest recover, even if I'm Italian I really hope he could be at the RWC!!

    By Blogger Madflyhalf, at April 25, 2011 1:02 am  

  • Damn that's heartbreaking. I hope his recovery time is overestimated and he will still make it for the RWC.

    Good luck Drew, from NZ

    By Anonymous Jeremy, at April 25, 2011 1:09 am  

  • Thanks for the clip as always RD. Good player - really returned to form over the last couple of seasons - sad to see him miss the World Cup. Wish him all the best and hope to see him back on the field soon.

    I broke my arm 20 years ago as a result of being tripped from behind - I can still remember how much it hurt and the sight of my arm bending where it shouldn't bend. The guy who (deliberately) tripped me was rather upset and very apologetic the next time we met. I guess Higginbotham feels the same.

    By Anonymous CaptainOchre, at April 25, 2011 1:12 am  

  • This is a new dance move from us aussies - the crippled catapiller. lmao.

    Shame to see him out of the WC, pleanty of other talent to step up though.

    By Anonymous shane, at April 25, 2011 1:35 am  

  • Nasty, hope he has a speedy recovery!

    As others have said, it does not look like much at all... If i'd seen the clip and nothing else i'd have never thought there was a big injury...

    By Blogger No.7, at April 25, 2011 1:52 am  

  • Sad to see that happen to such a great player to watch, fingers crossed he makes it back for the World Cup and that's coming from an Englishmen

    p.s. hope the No.8 who did it to him gets sited, blocking is happening too much in the game at the moment, this isn't gridiron.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2011 7:24 am  

  • that happened to a Croatian player playing in the premier league for arsenal. its horrific and i wish him all the best with the recovery

    By Blogger Ivor No.7, at April 25, 2011 10:42 am  

  • Anonymous said.– eat sum f***in concrete and harden the f*** up!
    ... what a pathetic little anonymous person.

    Anonymous said.– if this was a south african team or match the citing would have already been announced.
    ... I'm sure most SA fans are embarrassed by this kind of childish paranoia.

    By Anonymous Errol, at April 25, 2011 11:36 am  

  • I'm very sorry that Mitchell will miss the WC, he's a great talent and great to watch. Speedy recovery, Drew.

    By Anonymous Mike, at April 25, 2011 12:51 pm  

  • This happened to me playing rugby, except my tibia was spiral fractured its a horrific injury and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I did mine end of November and I still cant play rugby on it, however I'd imagine he will have world class physios instead of NHS and will be back sooner than most would expect.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2011 1:10 pm  

  • Lol - epic over-reaction to something that nobody said:

    "eat sum f***in concrete and harden the f*** up!what a bunch of cry babies the Aussies will be when they come over with out him...."if only we had drew"

    Cool story bro.

    By Anonymous Mike, at April 25, 2011 1:24 pm  

  • Pathetic accident, very sad and unfortunate to hurt yourself on this type of incident... Clerc hurted himself like that few years ago
    But this Higginbotham must not be very proud to do what he did. He certainly not wanted to hurt him, but it was a clear infrigement.

    All hope of recovery from France

    By Anonymous Colombes, at April 25, 2011 1:25 pm  

  • Fully agree with Colombes....

    I was really looking forward to see him having a go at the AB....

    This is really sad

    By Anonymous Flipje, at April 25, 2011 1:58 pm  

  • more or less same thing happened to me six weeks ago, wouldn't wish it on anyone. all the best to drew.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2011 4:18 pm  

  • According to an interview he conducted with the Sydney Morning herald's rugby journalists, he is confident of making a full recovery about of month before the world cup....


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 25, 2011 5:58 pm  

  • the still shot of Mitchell is gross enough. You can see his ankle is turned way too much.

    This stuff should be called, but the problem is that it's tough to adjudicate. Perhaps only a TMO (with overhead cam), or ingoal judges (in line with the kick) can see the block actually happen.

    But personally, I like rugby doesn't have the pack of zebras that gridiron has, who convene for 30-120 seconds to make a call. Too many cooks spoil the cream.

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at April 26, 2011 12:30 am  

  • shame for the guy and Aussie. Mitchell's improved so much over the past couple years - a great player, even if he drives my teams nuts trying to cover him.

    On another note, I heard the commentators say his ankle went back into place.

    Can anyone here explain how that works? Does it pop back in on its own, or must it be manipulated ("reduction" is maybe the medical term?) by the First Responders?

    By Anonymous cheyanqui, at April 26, 2011 12:55 am  

  • @cheyanquai

    Both but I would guess this needed some help. The first lady on the pitch is actually the Waratahs team doc so she prob did it.

    On the ABC radio coverage was the following interaction

    Commentator: I know this is not your area of experience John but you have had medical training, what do you think?
    Dr John Roe (former Reds Captain and fully qualified doc): I think it is bad cause his foot is pointing the wrong way!
    LOL in a bad situation.

    If only Drew had stayed at the reds

    By Anonymous Ned2or3, at April 26, 2011 3:38 am  

  • why don't you see it's luke moharan who injured volontary drew mitchell , the pics are clear , he should be ban for weeks ...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 26, 2011 6:50 am  

  • Thoughts are with him, hope he's coping ok with it (from a Welsh fan)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 26, 2011 11:33 am  

  • What a tragic event for him and the WC - wish him the best

    By Anonymous fitness equipment, at April 26, 2011 12:54 pm  

  • lads, there's no doubt that higginbotham meant to cross Mitchell and take him out of the contest for the kick chase...the severity of the injury was surprising to say the least. higginbotham deserves some sanction for the foul. what gets me is that he tried the same trick after ending Mitchell's world cup hopes, later in the game. not on lads...

    By Anonymous oslosinclair, at April 26, 2011 4:58 pm  

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