Lomax feared worst after gruesome injury in World Cup warm-up

All Blacks prop Tyrel Lomax has spoken about his fears that his World Cup was over before it had begun due to the gruesome cut on his thigh suffered in the warm-up Test against the Springboks.

Lomax needed 30 stitches in a gash caused by a boot during the All Blacks’ big 35-7 defeat at Twickenham. Down and out after only 14 minutes, the All Blacks had a difficult job of matching the world champions without their first-choice tighthead, a job made harder by Scott Barrett’s red card in the second half.

“I went to get up and glanced at my leg and I could see my thigh muscle and was in a little bit of shock,” Lomax said in Toulouse as the All Blacks looked forward to a weekend off.

“I couldn’t feel it, and was probably in shock. I remember grabbing it and trying to close it because I thought it was going to start pouring out with blood.

“I wasn’t aware how I did it until after the game. I didn’t think a boot could do that.”

The cut was caused by a “bladed” boot rather than studs, a worrying trend following Beauden Barrett’s cut Achilles which occurred during Super Rugby this year.

“My initial reaction was ‘my World Cup is over’. I thought I was going home,” he added. “I’m just happy to be here and still have a chance to play. The surgeon did a good job of stitching it up, and the medical team have been excellent.”

Lomax is now in the frame to play Italy in Lyon a week on Saturday — a must-win game for the All Blacks following their opening defeat to France in Paris.

Sam Cane (back), Jordie Barrett (knee) and Shannon Frizell (hamstring) are also likely in the frame as the All Blacks prepare to welcome in some much needed artillery.

Lomax revealed he could have played against Namibia on Saturday if required. “I was preparing to play if anyone had gone down,” he said.

“It’s healing well. I had a good couple of weeks of getting it right, and last week was my first full week back training. I’ll train again next week, and that’s another chance to up the load again and get into a few more scrums and a bit more contact.”

“It was frustrating at times,” he said. “It’s a short tournament and I had to do as much as I could to stay fit. It was a funny feeling when I could start putting weight on it. My quad was pretty much asleep and I was trying to get that strength back and the bend was the last thing.”

Lomax’s imminent return is welcome news given the judicial hearing hanging over loosehead prop Ethan de Groot for his high tackle in the 71-3 victory over Namibia. De Groot will defend the charge in tonight’s hearing.

The Post Lomax feared worst after gruesome injury in World Cup warm-up Originally Posted on www.1news.co.nz

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