Scarlets prop Deacon Manu ruled out for three months
DEACON Manu has been ruled for at least three months after learning he needs surgery on his broken arm.
The Scarlets prop was forced off late on against Treviso last Saturday with a recurrence of the injury he suffered more than two years ago.
X-rays at the time revealed a fracture, and further tests have determined the full extent of the problem. "It's a pretty clean break, but it's broken where one of the screws goes in, so there are a couple of different options," said head coach Simon Easterby.
"It looks like he'll have an operation on Friday, but he's looking at anywhere between 12 and 16 weeks out.
"Cover is something that we will have to look at. The Heineken squad went in on Wednesday so it's disappointing to lose someone of Deacon's experience. We'll have to look at how we manage that situation.
"Rhodri Jones is going really well at tight-head for Llanelli at the moment, he's getting plenty of game-time.
"We probably will also look at bringing someone in."
Aside from Jones, South African Jacobie Adriaanse is another option at tight-head, as is Samson Lee.
The 20-year-old went off with breathing problems at half-time against Treviso. But the issue is not serious, and Lee is back in contention for this weekend's Welsh derby with the Dragons at Rodney Parade.
"Samson's good. He had something caught in his throat and he was struggling to catch his breath," said Easterby.
"There was a bit of panic because he went down straightaway, but it was simple enough and easily rectified once we got him off the pitch and realised what it was."
Manu joins an injury list that also includes centre Gareth Maule (knee) and wing Kristian Phillips (hand).
But scrum-half Rhodri Williams is back in contention after missing the Treviso game with a shoulder complaint.
Back-rower John Barclay could also feature for the first time this season, having recovered from surgery on a similar problem.
"He's in full training and it'll be good to have him involved," added Easterby.
"He's desperate to get out there and put a marker down. He's been doing quite a bit lately, but to get that all clear from the surgeon was the important next step.
"He's had that, so there'll be a decision now about whether we start him or pick him on the bench."