Leigh Halfpenny to see specialist over ongoing concussion absence
Wales star has not played since November international against Australia
Leigh Halfpenny of Wales catches the ball ahead of Israel Folau of Australia, whilst Josh Adams of Wales is caught in between during the November international at the Principality stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images
Wales star Leigh Halfpenny is to see a specialist about the concussion that has sidelined him for almost two months.
The Scarlets fullback has not played since Wales’ clash against Australia on November 10th.
Halfpenny went off near the end of that game after being on the receiving end of a late challenge from Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi.
He was selected for the Scarlets against Cardiff Blues last weekend, but was a late withdrawal after suffering headaches.
And Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac has revealed that 80 times-capped Halfpenny will now receive further medical assessment.
“He is seeing a specialist, and that will hopefully give us an accurate time-frame for him in terms of coming back to play,” Pivac said. “We will know more next week, hopefully.
“It has been about eight weeks now, so we want to get some reassurance that we are doing the right things and make sure we stay on track.
“Leigh is very frustrated. You can see a leg injury, these things are easy to deal with, you can see a finish line. Muscles take this amount of time to heal, broken bones take that amount of time.
“But you don’t know as much about the head injuries that occur. It is frustrating for all concerned, more so for Leigh.”
Asked if Halfpenny could be stood down from playing for an extended period, Pivac added: “That is for the specialist and our medical team to make that call.
“From our point of view, we just won’t risk putting him out there until he is 100 per cent.
“He came very, very close last week, when he did two trainings [sessions] in a row, did everything throughout the week and just pulled up at the end of his goalkicking.
“We believe he is improving, but he has got to get to that stage where everyone is 100 per cent happy, including Leigh.”