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Lealiifano upbeat after surgery

Date

Chris Dutton

Injured Brumbies flyhalf Christian Lealiifano is stretchered into the first aid room as he sings the club song with his teammates last week.

Injured Brumbies flyhalf Christian Lealiifano is stretchered into the first aid room as he sings the club song with his teammates last week. Photo: Graham Tidy

A DEVASTATED Christian Lealiifano will draw inspiration from NSW Waratah Drew Mitchell's recovery from a broken ankle as he begins the painstaking six-month journey to get back on the field.

Lealiifano had surgery on his broken and dislocated ankle last week after his season came to an abrupt halt in the ACT Brumbies' win over the Waratahs at Canberra Stadium.

It came at the worst possible time for the talented playmaker with most predicting him to get a Wallabies call up next month.

But after being inundated by messages of support from players who had suffered similar injuries, Lealiifano was upbeat about his recovery.

Mitchell dislocated his ankle last year but made a miraculous return to play for the Wallabies at the World Cup.

He was one of several who spoke to Lealiifano with Colin Slade and Jono Lance also helping the 24-year-old come to grips with his injury.

Lealiifano is also using mentor Julian Huxley's recovery from a brain tumour to help him through the toughest time of his career.

''It's a freak thing that has happened and I believe these types of things happen for a reason,'' Lealiifano said.

''Hux came back from something far more serious than I've got and there are so much worse things in life than what I'm going through.

''Drew came to me when I was on the happy gas and just said that it's a long way back but he knew I would come back better and stronger from it.

''He's walking proof that you can get back and seeing guys being able to overcome it gives me a good outlook.''

Lealiifano is couch-bound for the next week until he gets his stitches out.

He will then have six weeks on crutches before slowly beginning his recovery.

Lealiifano's horror injury happened when his foot got caught under teammate Andrew Smith in the last minute of the clash with the Waratahs.

He still winces every time he sees the replay and describes it as ''yuk''.

In a sign of Lealiifano's popularity, the team then crowded around his stretcher in the medical room to sing the Brumbies' song after their victory.

He was in career best form and a key to the team's impressive resurgence. After spending the first period of his career playing behind Stephen Larkham and Matt Giteau, Lealiifano emerged as a key part of the back line.

The Brumbies went on an international search to find a replacement with Matt Toomua also out for the rest of the season.

Wallabies great Larkham was floated as a possible option and while Lealiifano was confident the backs coach would ''kill it'' if he made a comeback, he backed Zack Holmes and Robbie Coleman to step up at flyhalf.

The Brumbies have also recruited former Waratah Peter Hewat to add experience to their back line.

Lealiifano is targeting a return to the field for pre-season training.

''I'm loving the feel of the Brumbies at the moment and I just want to be a part of it,'' Lealiifano said. ''If I can come back for pre-season … I will be happy.''

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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