HAWICK hotshot Rory Hutton has torn the medial ligament in his knee while playing in Australia.
And the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Greens, who had convinced the 24-year-old to return early from his trip Down Under to rejoin the ranks at Mansfield Park.
Now Hutton, who had been playing for Western Australian outfit Palmyra, faces an anxious wait as he recovers from a second serious knee injury.
He told the Hawick News this week: “I’m pretty sick. I was playing for Palmyra against Nedlands. I just went to make a tackle and I got hit on the side of the knee and that made my leg bend in the way.
“I’m gutted as I was playing with and against some boys from Super 15 so I was really enjoying it.
“They’re still assessing the injury. I had a similar, although not as bad, injury when I was at Edinburgh so I know roughly how to look after it.
“I was planning on coming home early to play for Hawick, but I’ll just have to see how this is healing in terms of playing.”
The Greens, however, have been boosted by the return of centre Ross Armstrong, who trained with the squad on Tuesday night.
And coach Derek Armstrong is delighted to welcome the former Selkirk star.
He said: “Ross brings with him good experience. He’s a good speaker and he’s talked about a few different things.”
Youngster James Parker, who was believed to have joined Gala Wanderers, was also at Mansfield Park on Tuesday.
“Obviously he’s a young lad and whether he plays or not we’ll have to see, but he looked good in training,” said Armstrong.
Meanwhile, Hawick have had their professional draft players confirmed for the forthcoming season. They are: Andrew Turnbull, Sean Cox, John Houston, Geoff Cross and newly appointed Edinburgh captain Greg Laidlaw.
And while the chances of seeing most in a green jersey are slim, coach Armstrong is hoping Scotland Sevens star Turnbull could become a big hit. The winger grabbed a hat-trick of tries for Currie as they beat the Greens 58-25 last season.
Armstrong said: “We got the players we wanted. John Houston will take a couple of coaching sessions and we’re hoping Greg will do the same, and Geoff Cross has played for us before. We thought with Turnbull that he won’t be involved in the sevens until the middle of November so he could be a useful addition.”
n Nikki Walker returned to full training yesterday after being withdrawn from Saturday’s test match against Ireland with a head knock.
Scotland team doctor, James Robson, said: “Nikki is making excellent progress under the return to play medical protocol.”