Williams suffers setback
Injured lock to undergo third operation
By Rachel Griffiths. Last Updated: 30/04/10 11:08pm
Williams: Set for third operation
All Blacks lock Ali Williams is set to undergo a third operation as he continues his recovery from a torn Achilles tendon, the New Zealand Rugby Union has announced.
The 29-year-old, who has barely played rugby in 18 months, is unlikely to make his comeback until the end of the year and is not expected to be available for the All Blacks' end-of-season Grand Slam tour of Britain.
Williams ruptured his right Achilles during an Auckland Blues pre-season match in January and required a second operation. He also underwent surgery last year when it ruptured during the Super 14.
All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said Williams had been suffering unanticipated pain in recent weeks and further damage was revealed by a scan in Auckland on Thursday.
"The scan showed that, while the surgical procedure to connect the tendon to his joint remains intact, it has caused a partial tear further up his tendon," said Robinson.
"As a result Williams will require a third operation which will involve a reconstruction of the tendon."
Williams has notched up 61 caps for the All Blacks and, if he makes a full recovery, is expected to be named in Graham Henry's squad for the World Cup in New Zealand next year.