Williams survives boxing bout

Tue, 01 Feb 06:00:00 2011

All Blacks' centre Sonny Bill Williams' controversial professional boxing bout last week in Australia does not appear to have aggravated the stress fracture in his leg, the All Blacks doctor said on Tuesday.

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Williams suffered the fracture in his left leg on last year's end-of-season grand slam tour, when he made his international rugby debut after a high-profile return to New Zealand.

The fight, Williams's third professional bout and a unanimous points decision victory over Scott Lewis, had caused debate in New Zealand that he was allowed to participate with not only a broken leg, but in a World Cup year when he is widely expected to be a certainty in Graham Henry's All Blacks squad.

Doctors, however, had taken an x-ray of the fracture before Christmas and again when Williams returned to New Zealand after the fight at the weekend and there had not appeared to be any new damage, All Blacks doctor Deb Robinson said.

"He's had lots of bone healing, there's certainly no concerns about it, there's no new injury and he's come through the last month well," she told reporters in Christchurch.

She said the fracture had been caused by running and the training he had done for the fight had "actually (been) the right sort of load.

"He was great. He followed our instructions really well and had no problems at all through that month.

"I don't think you could fault the guy - he does everything you ask of him and he works very, very hard."

Williams was at Canterbury Crusaders training on Tuesday, but only did some light jogging and Robinson was unsure whether he would be fit for their first match of the Super rugby season against the Auckland Blues on February 19.

"We're a bit reluctant to commit ourselves to say he'll be ready for round one (of the Super 15) but he may be."

Reuters

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