McMahon injures knee during rehab
SUPER RUGBY: The Rebels have copped another big blow with their best player Sean McMahon suffering an injury setback and ruled out for at least six weeks.
The star flanker has already missed the opening six rounds of Super Rugby after ankle surgery during the off-season to repair an injury sustained on last year's Wallabies tour.
But the winless Rebels revealed the 22-year-old suffered a knee injury during his during his rehabilitation which is expected to keep Australia's 2016 Super Rugby player of the year out of action until June.
The Wallabies' opening Test of the season is on June 10 against Fiji in Melbourne.
"We're disappointed for Sean after he's been so diligent during his rehab but the latest incident underlines a frustrating season which has been impacted by injury," said Baden Stephenson, the Rebels' general manager of football operations.
"The rigours of Super Rugby have taken their toll on the squad with 16 players unavailable from existing long-term injuries suffered last year, concussions or other physical contact related injuries."
The Rebels injury toll has been compounded with news that McMahon will be joined on the sidelines by fellow flanker Jordy Reid, while Sefa Naivalu (shoulder) and Amanaki Mafi (ankle) will be required to pass fitness tests ahead of next week's clash against the Brumbies.
The Rebels have the bye this weekend.
Incredibly, it was revealed that Reid played the last two games with a fractured back before he succumbed to the injury.
Reid is forecast to miss 4-6 weeks.
Wallabies Naivalu, James Hanson, Lopeti Timani, Toby Smith, Dom Shipperley and Marika Koroibete, along with Welsh international Dominic Day and experienced campaigner Mitch Inman, have all been regulars on the Rebels injury list this season.
The Rebels have used 32 players in just five games this season including 11 debutants.
"There's no hiding from the fact that it's been a challenging and disappointing start to the season as it's been difficult to gain consistency and continuity in training and selection," Stephenson said.
The Rebels' horror injury toll:
Amanaki Mafi (ankle), test; Sefa Naivalu (shoulder), test; Toby Smith (hamstring), 2-4 weeks; Tim Metcher (foot), 2-4 weeks; Jack Maddocks (shoulder), 3-4 weeks; Cruze Ah-Nau (knee), 3-4 weeks; Semisi Tupou (knee), 3-4 weeks; Sean McMahon (ankle/knee), 4-6 weeks; Jordy Reid (back), 4-6 weeks; Murray Douglas (foot), 10-12 weeks; Harley Fox (ankle), 10-12 weeks; Sam Jeffries (ankle), indefinitely; Rob Leota (knee), season; Alex Toolis (neck), season; Pama Fou (knee), season; Dom Shipperley (knee), season.