Gallagher out of Four Nations tourney

2007-12-06 00:00

KZN Midlands and South Africa midfielder Darryn Gallagher has withdrawn from the national hockey team that is due to fly to Santiago in Chile next Wednesday for a Four Nations tournament.

Gallagher told The Witness yesterday that he has been advised to give his back more time to heal.

“I have had extensive treatment by a number of experts and their advice is to give my back another month of rehabilitation before any strenuous activity,” said Gallagher.

The Alexandra High School sports administrator is wisely looking at his long-term situation, as he is definitely in the mix for the SA team that will compete in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China in only eight months’ time.

Gallagher, who led the KZN Midlands team to a best-ever silver medal in the Men’s Interprovincial Tournament in East London four months ago, said the prognosis regarding his availability for the series, including Olympic-bound Canada and Great Britain in Durban next month, is positive.

“My specialist has told me that the extra month’s break should ensure I will be available for those Test matches at Queensmead as well as the Five Nations in Potchefstroom at the end of January,” he said.

Although it could not be confirmed yesterday, there appears to be a strong likelihood that Gallagher’s fellow midfielder and Maritzburg Varsity, provincial and national team-mate Tommy Hammond could be called upon to replace him in the team.

Hammond, the SA Player of the Year, was being rested by coach Gregg Clark and the national selectors and was due to miss out on the trip to Santiago.

Gallagher is possibly going to travel up to the High Performance Centre at Tukkies in Pretoria on Saturday for further rehabilitation and to be with the SA team during their final training camp before they leave for Chile next Wednesday.

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