Waratahs and Wallabies centre Lalakai Foketi

Waratahs and Wallabies centre Lalakai Foketi. Image: Via Instagram.

Hospitalised Wallaby ‘not out of the woods yet’ after training ground freak injury

Wallabies backline star Lalakai Foketi is still not out of danger after he suffered a serious neck injury that has put his career in jeopardy.

Waratahs and Wallabies centre Lalakai Foketi

Waratahs and Wallabies centre Lalakai Foketi. Image: Via Instagram.

Wallabies centre Lalakai Foketi has been cleared of major spinal damage, but it remains unclear if a neck injury suffered at the Waratahs’ training is career-threatening.

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Foketi was taken to hospital after sustaining a knock in an innocuous ruck situation at training on Thursday, and while the Waratahs and Rugby Australia have been informed that Foketi was cleared of major spinal damage, coach Darren Coleman has revealed that the player is not out of immediate danger yet.

Coleman said whilst the initial scans were encouraging, they will still need to have further scans to determine the severity of the injury before laying out a return pathway.

“The CT scan was positive, he had that yesterday and that showed no major spinal damage or no vertebral cracks or things like that,” Coleman said to reporters.

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“I’m obviously not a doctor, but he’s just got to stay in a little bit longer now to have an MRI. That’ll determine what sort of soft-tissue damage there is around ligaments (and) if there’s been any bleeding around the spinal cord, those sorts of things.

“He’s by no stretch out of the woods yet, but the first news is all pretty positive that there won’t be anything too permanent or debilitating.

“He’ll have the MRI today. All going well, he’ll be in a neck brace and get released today, and he’s pretty keen to get home and then he’ll start his road to recovery from that. I really hope for La’s sake that it’s not a career-threatening thing but if you’ve got instability in that area, risk and reward needs to be taken into consideration.”

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“(It) hits home to me, particularly what these guys put themselves through not only each week, but each training run,” Coleman admitted.

“There’s a lot contact involved in our sport and all it needs is what happened with La just to land on the ground a slightly wrong way, a push from behind or whatever it may be – and it can be catastrophic.

“It was a bit of an ordinary scene for him, and everyone was really worried at the time around what the extent of his injuries were and it happened in front of his teammates. It wasn’t great, It was confronting for the team when you see your mate go like that, and it sort of hits home.”

Waratahs statement on Wallabies star
The Waratahs’ statement on Lalakai Foketi’s injury. Image: Via X.