Mon, Nov 20, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Wales' Thomas may miss Test against New Zealand

AFP , CARDIFF

Wales' Gareth Thomas, right, touches down a kick through to score the opening try against Canada at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Friday.

PHOTO: AP

Wales are sweating on the fitness of fullback Gareth Thomas ahead of next Saturday's visit of New Zealand to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Thomas twisted a knee as he captained Wales to a 61-26 victory over Canada on Friday.

Wales coach Gareth Jenkins said Thomas would undergo a scan on Saturday, but he was not holding out much hope of the 90-times-capped player featuring against the All Blacks.

"It doesn't look like he will make it at the moment but we are trying to remain positive," Jenkins said.

"The concern is that in twisting the knee he has opened up the joint, but to what degree we don't know," he said.

"By Monday morning [today] we will know more as far as selection is concerned. Gareth is a key player in our environment, not just on the field, but in the team environment. It would be huge if he wasn't available," Jenkins said.

Thomas sustained the knee problem early in the Canada match but managed to play through the pain.

The injury adds to Wales' problems behind the scrum ahead of Saturday's clash with the All Blacks.

Gavin Henson pulled out just before the Canada game with an infected toe, while captain Stephen Jones is still in rehabilitation after twisting his knee in the 29-29 draw with Australia.

"Gavin's toe was very sore on Friday and was put on antibiotics which the medical team believe they will kick in and there should be a big improvement by Monday," Jenkins explained.

"Stephen's had a big week rehab-wise and I'm confident he will be available next week and back in training on Monday [today]," Jenkins said.

Jenkins, who is due to announce his side tomorrow but could delay that until Wednesday, said he was glad to have the extra day over New Zealand to prepare for Saturday's match.

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