Finn Russell will not require surgery to the serious jaw injury he suffered in Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 play-off in Connacht but has been already ruled out of Scotland’s June tour to Japan.
The Glasgow and Scotland stand-off lasted barely a minute of the semi-final at the Sportsgrounds after a clash of heads with team-mate Zander Fagerson as they both tried to tackle Connacht centre Bundee Aki.
Russell initially regained his feet after the incident although obviously concussed, but was taken off the field on a stretcher receiving oxygen and taken to the University College Galway hospital.
The 23-year-old was moved on Monday to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin where he remains under observation, although his condition was described yesterday as “significantly improved” and it’s been confirmed he will not now require surgery.
It’s expected he will be discharged later this week and be returned to the care of the Glasgow medical team, but the Scotland team management, after consulting with medical staff, have already removed him from the 27-strong squad to tour Japan next month.
No replacement has yet been named although it’s likely that Duncan Weir, surprisingly left out of the original squad, will take the place of Russell as he did on Saturday at Galway.
Scotland are bound to be cautious with their young playmaker not only because of the severity of the collision at the weekend. He has already had one concussion injury this season, missing the final game of the RBS 6 Nations in Dublin after taking a head knock against France, and there is an increasing concern in the sport over any kind of head injury.
In a statement yesterday the Warriors put on record their thanks to the Connacht medical team, players and staff for their support, and for the care from University Hospital in Galway and Beaumont Hospital.
The statement added that “Finn and his family really appreciate all the messages of support, with which they have been inundated.”
The Scotland squad will convene at BT Murrayfield Stadium on June 6 for a short camp before their departure for Tokyo on June 11.
The Test matches – both televised live on the BBC – will be played on consecutive Saturdays at J1 League football stadia; the first at the Toyota Stadium in Toyota City (June 18), the second at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo (June 25), homes of Nagoya Grampus and FC Tokyo respectively.