Should he be given the all clear to play this weekend, University of Canberra Brumbies outside-back Pat McCabe will have powered through his rehab well ahead of schedule after undergoing serious shoulder surgery post World Cup.
McCabe injured his shoulder while playing for Australian against the USA during the pool stages of the competition, but went on to play the final two play-off matches before the Wallabies were eliminated in Auckland.
Originally surgeons predicted McCabe would not return until week six of the 2012 Super Rugby competition, but extra attention from University of Canberra Brumbies medical staff Dr Angus Bathgate, Hamish Macauley and Byron Field has set the star for an early return.
McCabe said he was back to full strength having been put through his paces at training over the last two weeks.
“I was meant to play last Sunday [for the ACT XV] but the game got cancelled because of the weather so depending on what Jake does with the team I hope to be out there on Saturday,” McCabe said.
“I’m a bit nervous heading into that first match not having any previous game time but I guess that’s just part of it. Once I’m out there I won’t be thinking about it.
“It’s obviously been a lot of months rehabbing and training by myself so I’m pretty keen to get out there and test myself.
“It’s been pretty tough watching the boys go around but it’s been good to see them playing well, hopefully I can fit into that somewhere.
“I’m feeling fit and strong and obviously match fitness will take a bit of time but I’m confident with everything else.”
McCabe’s Back’s Coach Stephen Larkham said the team was now ready to fire for the Cheetahs after a week off.
“It was very good for us to have the week off after the Force game, we really needed to win that and it was a heavy week,” Larkham said.
“Having the break has given us a good chance to look at how the other teams are performing.
“The Cheetahs are continuing on from some of their results last year, they had some unlucky results. They were outplayed by the Bulls but they were unlucky against the Lions
“They’ll be a better team than the one you saw play last weekend in South Africa.”