Crocked Cooper ruled out
The playmaker will miss Australia's final two games
Last Updated: September 18, 2012 2:26pm
Quade Cooper: Ruled out of the rest of the Rugby Championship
Australia fly-half Quade Cooper requires more surgery on the same knee he injured at last year's World Cup and has been ruled out of the rest of the Rugby Championship.
The news compounds the Wallabies' widespread injury problems ahead of away assignments against South Africa and Argentina.
The Australian Rugby Union said scans showed a small chip of cartilage in Cooper's right knee and the playmaker would need an operation to "clean up" the problem.
"It is not a long term injury.
The ARU Quotes of the week
Having only recently returned for the Wallabies after a long rehabilitation from cruciate ligament damage, Cooper will miss Australia's final two games of the southern hemisphere competition, against South Africa in Pretoria on September 29 and Argentina in Rosario the following weekend.
The ARU gave no immediate time frame for Cooper's recovery yet said he might still be available for the end-of-year tour to Europe in November.
The ARU said: "While the injury will require an operation... and is to the same knee that was operated on after last year's Rugby World Cup, it is not a long term injury."
Australia will name a 28-man squad for the matches against the Springboks and Pumas on Wednesday, with pressure still on coach Robbie Deans following back-to-back losses to world champions New Zealand and scrambling wins at home over South Africa and tournament newcomer Argentina.
Cooper joined senior team members David Pocock, James Horwill, Will Genia and James O'Connor, who are all side-lined with injury and won't be available for the rest of the championship.
Meanwhile, South Africa released five players to their domestic Currie Cup teams on Tuesday ahead of the Boks' home games against the Wallabies and the dominant All Blacks, who have just about clinched the inaugural four-nation Rugby Championship title with four wins from their first four games.
Hooker Craig Burden, flanker Jacques Potgieter, prop Frans Malherbe, scrum-half Jano Vermaak and wing Lwazi Mvovo, none of whom were involved in the 21-11 defeat in New Zealand, were sent back to their teams.
Prop Pat Cilliers was still struggling with injury and a doubt for the Test against Australia at Loftus Versfeld next Saturday. South Africa will then host New Zealand at the 94,000-seat FNB Stadium in Soweto on October 6.
Coach Heyneke Meyer, who has endured a struggling start to his first southern hemisphere tournament in charge of the Boks, will name a group of 30 for South Africa's must-win home games on Saturday.
The Springboks have won less than half of their matches since Meyer took over from Peter de Villiers at the beginning of the year.