Injury fear for Ansbro

  • Last Updated: August 27 2012, 12:36 BST

London Irish have confirmed Scotland international Joe Ansbro has broken a bone in his neck.

Joe Ansbro: Broke a bone in his neck against Munster

The centre suffered the injury in Friday's pre-season clash with Munster - with Ansbro having remained in University Hospital, Cork, to receive treatment.

However the initial assessment has been promising and the 26-year-old could be back playing in three months.

A statement from London Irish read: "Joe broke a small bone at the top of his neck early in the game's second half. After An MRI scan, it was confirmed that immediate surgery was not required, and the injury would be managed by external fixation.

"He is in the care of the club's and hospitals medical team and is expected to return to the UK later this week."

Scotland have remained in contact with the Exiles and they are confident Ansbro will be back playing soon.

Scotland team doctor James Robson said: "The management of the injury Joe has sustained typically involves a period of between six-eight weeks immobilisation then a further four-six weeks of rehabilitation before he can look at a return to the game. We wish Joe well in his recovery."

Ansbro has won 11 caps after making his debut against South Africa in 2010, scoring three tries, including one against Romania in last year's World Cup.

Born in Glasgow, he joined London Irish last summer after beginning his club career at Northampton.

Ansbro's father Paul revealed there was nothing malicious behind the injury and was relieved his son escaped more serious damage.

"He's got a triple fracture of the C1 vertebrae at the top of his spine,'' he told BBC Scotland.

"They've put a metal halo on his head that's got to be in place 24/7 for three months.

"They did a CAT scan and an MRI scan and they've had a neurosurgeon looking after him.

"He was really lucky that it was what they call a stable fracture and there's no nerve damage.

"That was the thing they were most concerned about; Joe's still got movement in his hands and feet.

"Your blood runs cold when you hear about it and it's something that every parent worries about.

"It's a fantastic, rough game and these things, unfortunately, cannot be ruled