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Gallagher Chiefs openside flanker Mitchell Karpik sustained a knee injury in last Friday’s preseason trial against the Waratahs at Rotorua.

The promising 20-year-old ruptured the ACL in his left knee in contact and will undergo surgery in the near future. The expected recovery time is 6-9 months, ruling Karpik out of the 2016 Investec Super Rugby season.

“I’m obviously really disappointed as I was really looking forward to playing for the Gallagher Chiefs this year. I’m choosing to see it as a bump in the road and will take the opportunity to mature my body and get ready for what will hopefully be a long career ahead of me. I’ll also have a bit more time to put towards my university studies and I will of course continue to support the team from the side lines” said Karpik.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said: “Mitch is an outstanding young man and we’re bitterly disappointed for him. His debut in the Chiefs jersey in Friday’s game was impressive and further reinforced the hugely promising future he has ahead of him. He has a great deal of maturity and an excellent work ethic which will serve him well as he overcomes his knee injury. We will certainly miss him in a training and playing capacity this season but we’re pleased he’ll still be very much a part of the team as he undergoes his rehabilitation under the expert guidance of our medical team.”

Other injury updates;

Maama Vaipulu: Maama took a knock to his shoulder during Friday’s preseason trial. He will be assessed again later in the week and is likely to be available for selection for Friday’s preseason trial against the Blues at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe.

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