Faletau suffers new injury blow with shoulder fracture

Home » Faletau suffers new injury blow with shoulder fracture

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau has fractured his shoulder and will not play again this season.

It is desperately unfortunate for the 33-year-old, who was hurt on his Cardiff comeback last week after a six-month injury lay-off.

Faletau suffered a broken arm in Wales’ World Cup victory against Georgia in October 2023 in Nantes before missing the Six Nations with a calf injury.

He returned for Cardiff’s 19-17 defeat by Ulster in the United Rugby Championship (URC) but was forced off in the 30th minute.

Faletau was clutching the same arm he damaged in France, but Cardiff coach Matt Sherratt confirmed on Thursday that it is a new injury.

Sherratt added that there is no ligament damage and Faletau, capped 104 times by Wales and six by the British and Irish Lions, is unlikely to need surgery but was unable to give a timeline for his recovery.

“He has fractured his shoulder. He had a scan Sunday and then another on Monday,” Sherratt said.

“I can’t give you a timeline for it but it will rule him out for the rest of the season. Obviously there’s nothing structurally around ligaments but a fracture has been found in his shoulder.

“The good news on it is that it’s not something that at the moment they think needs surgery, so it’s not complicated where it needs to be pinned or anything. It’s something that will heal on its own.

“Unfortunately he’ll miss the rest of the season but hopefully be back at the start of the next.

“For 25 minutes it was almost like he’d never been away – he was Toby Faletau. He just looks like he’s got time, he’s physical, he does everything so well.

“The hardest bit is watching what he’s done to come back and we held him back a little bit as well… give him another couple of weeks so that he’s definitely ready after a substantial time out of the game.

“To see how hard he’s worked off the field and to see the excitement he had coming back. Because he’s experienced I asked him whether he was nervous and he said, ‘Well actually yes, when I saw my name on the team sheet I was nervous’.

“I think that shows what kind of character he is, he’s one of the most humble blokes in the game. Great pro, worked really hard to get back.

“To see him go off was pretty gut-wrenching… what I know about Toby in the short time I’ve known him is he’ll be back. He loves playing rugby so he’ll get stuck into his rehab and get back into it.”

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