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Brumbies feel the pain again

WALLABY lock Mark Chisholm has been sidelined for the remainder of the Super 14 competition after dislocating his right wrist in the Brumbies' 40-27 win over the Cheetahs on the weekend.

The 28-year-old lock underwent surgery at a Durban hospital, where he stayed when the remainder of the Brumbies returned to Australia on Monday. He was expected to return today, and will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

The Brumbies squad was informed after returning to Sydney from a three-match trip to South Africa that teammate Shawn Mackay had died in a Durban hospital, just over a week after being hit by a car.

The Brumbies players have been offered counseling and coach Andy Friend has told them nobody will be forced to play against the Stormers in Canberra on the weekend if they're not ready while mourning.

"We'll certainly respect every player's view on that, for all of us this is an absolute tragedy," Friend told reporters yesterday.

Mackay's death put the loss through injury of Chisholm into perspective. "It's very disappointing to lose someone of Mark's experience and capability for an extended period of time," Friend said. "He's a senior member of our pack, he's an integral member of our lineout and he gives the side great gain line with ball in hand.

"As a squad we'll be doing what we can to give Mark an opportunity to return and play in the finals with us in seven weeks time," he said.

Mackay, 26, had been in hospital with a cervical spinal fracture and dislocation, a fractured skull as well as a broken leg and multiple facial fractures after being struck by the vehicle in the early hours of March 29.

Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said Mackay had shown some initial positive signs after being brought out of a medically induced coma late last week, but picked up an infection several days ago which was being treated with antibiotics. He died of cardiac failure.


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