Bristol’s Perry undergoes surgery

Bristol Rugby have been dealt an injury blow this week with the news that England scrum half Shaun Perry has undergone surgery to repair a fracture to the cartilage in his windpipe.

During Bristol’s Heineken Cup victory over Harlequins at the Memorial Stadium on Sunday, Perry took a boot to the throat but, after treatment, finished the game.

However, after feeling some discomfort in his throat following the game, Perry consulted Bristol Rugby’s Head of Medical Services Richard Mack who was quickly able to diagnose the problem given that Perry’s Bristol team mate, Nathan Budgett, suffered the same injury against Cardiff Blues back in November.

Following a scan, Perry was admitted to hospital on Tuesday evening and underwent surgery to repair the cartilage.

Bristol Rugby Head Coach Richard Hill could scarcely believe his luck: “When Budge (Nathan Budgett) suffered his injury, none of us had even seen an injury of this type before. For a second player to get injured in the same way barely a month later beggars belief.”

“I feel for Shaun. He returned from the Rugby World Cup and got straight back to work with Bristol. He’s been superb for us, has embraced his role as a senior player and I’ve had no hesitation naming him captain in Matt Salter’s absence.”

Earlier in the week, Perry’s club team mate and England hopeful Dan Ward-Smith also had surgery. Ward-Smith broke a hand in the same Heineken Cup match and the surgery pinned the broken metacarpal.

Ward-Smith had been nearing top form following an extensive rehabilitation period after he dislocated his knee and ruptured his patella tendon last January ruling him out of the 2007 RBS Six Nations and Rugby World Cup.

Hill added:”It’s very unlucky for him. Last year, just before he did his knee, he was out for 6 weeks with a broken thumb. So, the last two seasons have been pretty wretched for him. It’s tough for him.”

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