Major blow for Connacht as Bundee Aki ruled out for up to 10 weeks

The 24-year-old centre will undergo surgery on his ankle next week.

Aki has impressed under Lam at Connacht this season.
Aki has impressed under Lam at Connacht this season.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT HAVE BEEN dealt a major injury blow as it has been confirmed Bundee Aki will require surgery on an ankle injury.

The explosive centre has been ruled out for eight to 10 weeks.

24-year-old Aki, who joined Connacht from the Chiefs in New Zealand this season, sustained the injury late on during the province’s 16-13 defeat to Edinburgh at the Sportsground last weekend.

The former Counties Manukau centre damaged his left ankle while carrying the ball in typically aggressive fashion, although he did attempt to play on. With three minutes left on the clock, Aki limped off the pitch and did not return.

The Auckland native underwent an MRI examination and consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon early this week, whereafter it was confirmed that he has sustained a ruptured syndesmosis.

The Connacht man will undergo surgery next week.

It comes as a cruel blow for Pat Lam’s squad, who are currently sixth in the Guinness Pro12, inside the Champions Cup qualification spots for next season. The recovery timeframe means Connacht may be without Aki until their round 18 fixture against Munster on 27/28/29 March.

Bundee Aki injured Aki picked up the injury last Friday in Galway. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

That would mean the Kiwi centre missing the league clashes against the Scarlets [A], Dragons [A], Treviso [H] and Cardiff Blues [A]. The likes of Dave McSharry will look to secure a spot in the starting XV in Aki’s absence.

Aki signed a three-year deal with Connacht last year, when he spoke openly about his desire to play international rugby. He will qualify to play for Ireland in 2017, although he could also play for Samoa, his parents’ country of birth.

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Murray Kinsella

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