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Rugby - Brumbies' Pocock heads home as calf strain lingers

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By Reuters
Rugby - Brumbies' Pocock heads home as calf strain lingers
Rugby Union - Australia Captain's Run - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 23, 2018 Australia's David Pocock during the captain's run Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra   -   Copyright  PETER CZIBORRA(Reuters)

SYDNEY (Reuters) – ACT Brumbies loose forward David Pocock is heading for more time on the sidelines after being sent home from South Africa to continue his recovery from a calf injury that has kept him out since early March.

The 30-year-old sustained the injury in a pre-season Wallabies camp and aggravated it in their third match of the Super Rugby season against the Melbourne Rebels on March 8, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said.

“It all started back in January at the Wallabies camp and hasn’t stopped really,” McKellar told Rugby Australia’s website.

“If I had have been told, when I was originally told it was a calf strain in January, that it would be still dragging on in the back end of April you’d certainly be frustrated.

“He’s been frustrated, as much as anyone. He works hard on his rehab and wants to contribute to the team.

“He still certainly had a really good contribution but he wants to be able to have a contribution on the field and hasn’t been able to do that this year.”

Pocock has barely played at all this season after he suffered a concussion in the opening game and missed the Brumbies’ next match.

While his lack of game time was a concern for the Brumbies, who produced a superb defensive effort on Saturday when they made 224 tackles to beat the Stormers 19-17 in Cape Town, McKellar said he would not be rushing Pocock back.

“There is still a long way to go and it’ll be nice to have him back for the second part of the season,” he added.

“We have to make sure if we throw him back into a game situation that he is prepared and ready to perform.

“And not just play, so the last thing we want him to do is have another set back.”

The Brumbies are heading back to Australia via Argentina where they play the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

The Canberra-based side are third in the Australian conference on 19 points, five points behind the Melbourne Rebels and one behind the New South Wales Waratahs.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford)