Wallabies and Melbourne Rebels flyer Sefa Naivalu will miss the remainder of the year after he undergoes shoulder surgery on Friday.
Naivalu dislocated his shoulder in the second-half of the Melbourne Rising’s 41-31 victory over the Greater Sydney Rams in Australia's National Rugby Championship (NRC) at Harlequin Park on Sunday.
The 25-year-old, who was returning from an ankle injury suffered in the Wallabies Test against Italy in June, is expected to be sidelined for four to five months.
“We’re all gutted for Sefa after he worked so hard to get back from his ankle injury,” Melbourne Rising head coach Zane Hilton told the Melbourne Rebels' official website.
“His experience and killer instinct will be an immediate loss for the rest of the Rising’s NRC season but we know the decision to have shoulder surgery now is in his best interest long term.
“We know that Sefa will be diligent with his rehab and will be back bigger, stronger and hungrier than ever in 2018.”
Naivalu, capped seven times for the Wallabies, will miss the rest of the Melbourne Rising’s 2017 National Rugby Championship campaign and be unavailable for the Wallabies’ Spring Tour.
“I’m very disappointed to miss the rest of the year but I know that it’s the best decision for my career to fix my shoulder now,” he said.
“I don’t like being on the sideline so I will make sure that I do my rehab and get my shoulder right so I can be back and ready for next season.”