Guinness PRO12: Edinburgh centre Matt Scott out for rest of the season

Scotland centre forced to have further surgery as the Gunners' long-term injury problems threaten their European push

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Matt Scott will miss Edinburgh's European Challenge Cup semi-final Photo: Jason O'Callaghan

Edinburgh Rugby have confirmed that Scotland centre Matt Scott will miss the remainder of the season after needing further shoulder surgery.

The 24-year-old returned from double shoulder surgery to join Vern Cotter’s Scotland squad during the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year, but injured his left shoulder near the end of their thumping defeat to Ireland at BT Murrayfield in the last round of the championship on 21 March.

Matt will now continue with his rehabilitation programme with the Edinburgh Rugby medical team and will be unavailable to play for Edinburgh for the rest of the season.

Club statement on Matt Scott’s ongoing injury problems

While it is too early to know whether Scott will miss the Rugby World Cup in September, the news of further complications won’t sit well with the Scotland coaching team after Glasgow Warriors inside centre Alex Dunbar was struck down for up to nine months with a ruptured ACL.

The news will come as a bigger blow to his club ahead of their European Challenge Cup semi-final against Newport Gwent Dragons at BT Murrayfield on Friday night.

Scott is the latest Edinburgh player to be ruled out of the Gunners’ push to reach the Guinness PRO12 top six and European Challenge Cup final, while his flat-mate David Denton is also a doubt as he undergoes return-to-play protocols after going off early in the Munster defeat with a head knock.

Back-row forward Cornell du Preez (leg) has been out since October, while cousins Grant Gilchrist (arm) and Sean Kennedy (shoulder) have also been ruled out of the rest of the season.

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons has had to rely on Phil Burleigh and Andries Strauss for much of the campaign with Joaquín Domínguez and Sam Beard backing up the duo, with injuries limiting Scott to just 10 appearances for the Gunners this season.

A club statement confirmed the extent of Scott’s problems: “It had been hoped that Matt would be able to manage his injury conservatively but, following consultation with specialists at Spire Murrayfield, the decision to perform an investigative arthroscopy was taken.

“This resulted in him requiring a further surgical procedure to help deal with his shoulder complaints.

“Matt will now continue with his rehabilitation programme with the Edinburgh Rugby medical team, and will be unavailable to play for Edinburgh for the rest of the season.”

Should Scott and Dunbar fail to return in time for the Rugby World Cup, Cotter will be left with a selection headache for Scotland’s 10-12-13 axis.

Glasgow Warriors centre Peter Horne would be the likely candidate to slot in at 12 after his superb season with the Guinness PRO12 league leaders, but there are a other options available, including Saracens centre Duncan Taylor, or taking advantage of some player versatility.

Warriors duo Mark Bennett and Finn Russell both operated at inside centre as they made their professional rugby breakthrough in the Guinness PRO12, but have since become astute operators at outside centre and outside-half respectively.

If Duncan Weir, Ruaridh Jackson and Tom Heathcote, who all missed the Six Nations, are available to provide options at 10, it would give Cotter licence to consider Russell at 12, while the availability of Warriors duo Sean Lamont or Richie Vernon would provide the option to move Bennett inside.

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