It was a change of direction and then he went down. It’s very unfortunate and he’s obviously upset…My worst fear is that it could be an ACL. Hopefully it’s not.
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter on Alex Dunbar’s injury
The Glasgow Warriors centre had been pencilled in to continue his midfield partnership with club team-mate Mark Bennett against England at Twickenham on Saturday before the nightmare injury struck hours before the Dark Blues were due to fly to London.
The 24-year-old has been one of Scotland’s stand-out performers in this year’s RBS 6 Nations, but scans on Thursday confirmed the severity of the injury, which is expected to rule him out of the Rugby World Cup with Scotland’s opening fixture against Japan in Gloucester taking place on 23 September.
“Alex was in a bit of discomfort. He just went down on his own,” Cotter said at a press briefing before the extent of the injury was known.
“It was a change of direction and then he went down. It’s very unfortunate and he’s obviously upset.
“He will miss this Calcutta Cup game and we’re hoping it’s only a minor injury. We will have to wait and see.
“My worst fear is that it could be an ACL. Hopefully it’s not.
“If it is an ACL, it will be a fine cut [for the Rugby World Cup], but they are pretty good at getting these types of injuries back, if that is the case.
“It’s not as severe as it used to be, but certainly it would be a set back for Alex.”
— Spire Murrayfield (@Murrayfieldhosp) March 12, 2015
He has ruptured his ACL – anterior cruciate ligament – requiring surgery and around six to nine months rest and rehabilitation.
Scottish Rugby statement on Alex Dunbar’s injury
Edinburgh centre Matt Scott, who scored a brace last weekend at Benetton Treviso in the Guinness PRO12, has taken Dunbar’s place in the Scotland midfield for the Calcutta Cup clash.
A statement from the Scottish Rugby Union on Thursday afternoon revealed that Cotter’s fears were realised following a scan at nearby Spire Murrayfield Hospital.
The 14-times capped player will be out for around six to nine months for rest and recuperation once he has had surgery.
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