The Hurricanes and All Blacks utility outside back missed most of the 2016 Super Rugby and International seasons due to shoulder surgery and recent scans have confirmed he will face another lengthy timespan on the bench.
During the wet conditions at Waikato Stadium the Hurricanes fell to the Chiefs by 26-18, however that most concerning thing for coach Chris Boyd was Milner-Skudder’s foot injury.
Initial reports have confirmed he has fractured his foot and have stated that he may be out for as long as 6 weeks, however recent information suggests he may be out for a longer period.
The All Black’s star has confirmed to the Fantasy XV Draft team on Twitter that he has fractures to a “few of the [metatarsals]”. Leaving his likely return in 6 weeks very unlikely.
What are Metatarsal fracture?
Metatarsal fractures have been prominent in professional sports over the last number of years, with David Beckham and Wayne Rooney being two well known examples.
The Metatarsals are the 5 long bones that are located between your Phalanges (toes) and the Tarsals (hind-foot), fractures to these bones are the most common traumatic foot injuries seen.
Functionally, along with the rest of the foot, their two principle functions are for propulsion and support, causing them to undertake high amount of forces when playing sport. Due to the fact Milner-Skudder relies heavily on his foot work, he is likely to apply an increased load to these bones.
Management and return to play
The treatment and return to play for Metatarsal fractures vary in relation to the type and location of the fractures. If the fractured segments are well aligned, standard practice is to immobilise the foot in a boot, whilst preventing any weight-bearing for 6-8 weeks.
During this initial phase of healing, swimming and other non-weight bearing exercises can be used to maintain fitness.
After the initial 6-8 week phase of healing, it is likely that Milner-Skudder will return to play when he is pain free. He will need to meet a number of fitness tests, increasing intensity and duration of exercise slowly before he is given the all clear.
With the first All Blacks v Lions test only 14 weeks away, we aren’t likely to see the Hurricanes’ star rushed back into Super Rugby before he is 100% recovered.
The advice of our resident Podiatrist and Physiotherapist, unless you are happy to make weekly outside back trades to cover byes or play an outside back down… Drop him.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Fantasy XV Draft in order to know his likely return date.
Written by Nelson Dale