Cuthbert set for spell on sidelines

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Exeter Chiefs winger Alex Cuthbert has had to undergo surgery after injuring his hamstring against La Rochelle in the Heineken Champions Cup. Picture:

By Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby, Rob Baxter, has confirmed winger Alex Cuthbert is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on an injured hamstring.

The Wales and British & Irish Lions winger picked up the injury during the recent Heineken Champions Cup win over La Rochelle, where he was replaced just past the hour mark by Jack Nowell.

It’s an untimely blow for the 29-year-old, who had only recently returned to first-team action having undergone a shoulder operation during the close season.

"His hamstring is worse than we initially thought," said Baxter. “It's one of those operations where didn’t know how bad it was until they went in and explored it a little bit, so he's going to be out for a little while."

As well as Cuthbert, Baxter is also having to assess the fitness of fellow flyer, Tom O’Flaherty, who was forced off in the dying minutes of Saturday’s 38-3 win over Wasps in the Gallagher Premiership.

O’Flaherty has been in superb form of late, including picking up the man-of-the-match award at the weekend, where his fine individual score midway through the second half ensured the try bonus point for the Chiefs.

The winger has scored in his last three matches, but he is currently being assessed by the club’s medical staff ahead of the upcoming double-header against Sale Sharks in the Champions Cup.

“He came off very late looking like he's got a slight hamstring issue," Baxter added."Whether that's cramp and he's going to be OK, or there's a little tear, we're going to have to wait and see.

"Even a slight tear will rule him out for a week or two, so we've just got to cross fingers and hope it's just more of a stiffness or a cramp, but we won't know for a while."

The Chiefs, meanwhile, have been boosted by the news that Olly Woodburn is available, while Ollie Devoto is back in full training having injured his neck in the Premiership Rugby Cup win away to Worcester Warriors back in early October.

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