No break but Taylor's season rests on scans

TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 05:00 26/05/2014
Andre Taylor
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
HEALING WELL: An x-ray has shown Hurricanes fullback Andre Taylor's ankle isn't broken.

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Andre Taylor has dodged one bullet, x-rays showing his badly damaged right ankle is not broken, but whether he will take any further part in the Hurricanes' Super 15 campaign will be decided today.

The fullback's season looked as though it had ended in the 42nd minute of the Hurricanes' 45-8 win over the Chiefs on Saturday night when he left Westpac Stadium on a golf cart with his leg in a splint and in obvious pain.

That may still be the case, but just how long Taylor will be sidelined will hinge on the results of MRI scans he will undergo today to determine ligament damage.

A serious injury would be a cruel blow for the 26-year-old, who is enjoying a resurgent season and recently signed a contract to play for the Kintetsu Liners in Japan next year.

The June test break means there are eight weeks before the Super Rugby playoffs should the Hurricanes qualify, but Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett is already planning for life without one of his main attacking weapons.

''It is [a blow]. He's been playing well, but I suppose if there is one area where we are really strong its in that area [fullback],'' he said.

''Matt Proctor is a superb footballer. I think he'll be an All Black one day, so he's likely to get his opportunity and we have Marty Banks and Jimmy Marshall there as well.

''So while it's a blow for Andre I think we can [cover]. I suppose we'll have a different type of player who can add a different strength for us.''

While Taylor's first half try against the Chiefs was only his second this season, his ability to break the line and spark the Hurricanes' counter-attack have been major factors in the team's run of form.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes' other injury concern, prop Ben Franks (groin), who left the field at the same time as Taylor, is not believed to be serious.

Franks suffered a tweak in the same groin when the Hurricanes played the Bulls in Napier on April 5 and was out of action for two weeks.

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