DAVID FISHER’S season at Plymouth Albion is over before even playing a single league game for the club.
Albion have confirmed the South African forward, who joined the National One club in the summer, requires surgery after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his knee.
Fisher suffered the injury in Albion’s pre-season match with Newton Abbot on August 28.
Following an inconclusive scan in September, it was agreed Fisher try a rehabilitation programme.
The former Natal Sharks player was making good progress and played in a development match at Taunton at the start of this month, but he suffered a set-back last week in training and it has now been decided he does need surgery.
“It is going to need an operation,” said Fisher. “ACLs are always a nightmare, but it happens to athletes. It’s just unlucky it’s me.”
He added: “They say there are all loads of new rehab and physio programmes out there and that surgery has got a lot better than it was in the past. They say it can take between four and six months, depending on how quickly you recover.
“But it is my season done.
“I am now looking to be back for pre-season next year.”
Fisher is gutted that he has not had chance to prove himself at Albion.
“I got to play two games in pre-season but that’s about it,” he said. “I didn’t get to play any of the league games which is frustrating. I was just sitting on the sidelines.
“I tried to come back and played in one (development) game and was hoping to play in the league but then damaged it again in mid-week in a line-out session. That is so frustrating, but it’s just one of those things.”
Fisher, though, does intend to stay in Plymouth. He is in the UK on a ancestry visa.
“I will be staying in Plymouth and doing rehab here, but I will just have to look for something to do.”
He hopes he will get the chance to return to the club next season.
Albion’s director of rugby Graham Dawe said: “It is a real blow that Dave is not going to be able to play in the immediate future for Plymouth Albion.
“I think he is hugely frustrated, but he’s a young man and, hopefully, he’ll come back stronger.”
Fisher’s injury does leave Dawe’s second-row options limited, especially as Shek Sherrif is currently on the sidelines having dislocated his shoulder playing on-loan at Newton Abbot.
Dawe admits he is likely to try and find a replacement for Fisher.
“Nile Dacres can play there, but he’s been performing well in the back-row, and that’s where we see his future,” said Dawe.
Meanwhile, Dawe has an injury concern over young full-back Tom Putt ahead of Saturday’s league trip to high-flying Blackheath.
“Tom Putt is struggling with a foot injury at the moment,” said the Albion boss. “It is something that has developed over the last couple of weeks so we are monitoring that. We should get a clear picture by today.”
He added: “You always hope everyone is fit and Tom has been an important part of the team with his kicking and he certainly caught everything out of the sky last week. But if it he isn’t fit then other people will have to step up with the kicking tee.”
Albion flanker Jarrad Hayler helped the Royal Navy to the Under-23 Inter-Service Championship title by beating the Army 26-22 at Portsmouth on Wednesday night.