Injury-plagued Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell faces 12 months out of rugby after suffering a serious ankle injury in his test comeback from an earlier 11-month injury layoff.
Mitchell ruptured a tendon in his right ankle during Australia's 22-0 loss to New Zealand in Auckland last weekend, which was his first test start since last year's Rugby World Cup.
He previously missed most of the New South Wales Waratahs' Super 15 campaign with a similar but less serious injury to the same ankle.
His World Cup participation was ended by a hamstring injury. Mitchell said ''the healing that needs to be done is pretty significant. I'm not too sure if I'll be lacing (my boots) up in the next 12 months or so.''