Rebels not panicking as injuries mount up
RUGBY UNION: The Melbourne Rebels injury toll is rising yet again, but coach Tony McGahan is refusing to panic as his side prepares for their first trial game of the pre-season.
The Rebels will face the Western Force on the Gold Coast on tonight.
The team will remain north for the weekend's Rugby Tens event at Suncorp Stadium and another trial game - against the Queensland Reds - in Brisbane next Tuesday, before returning home.
All players, injured ones included, will jet off with the team for the intensive training block.
McGahan said an ankle injury to Wallabies forward Sean McMahon was a 10-12 week prospect, adding "he's already been out for two or three weeks".
The coach said Dominic Day (shoulder) is on track for a round two or three club debut, while he hopes fellow lock Sam Jeffries (ankle) could play in the season opener against Auckland on February 23.
McGahan said Marika Koroibete (knee) is tracking nicely, although the NRL convert has not been named in an extended 31-man squad for tonight's match.
The Rebels copped a horrific injury toll last season, which crippled any chance they had of making a debut finals appearance.
But McGahan insists there is no sense of deja vu descending over the club.
"You're always going to pick up some injuries along the way, every club probably has three or four," McGahan said.
"We've lost a couple, but that's the nature of it.
"Some of them were outside of our control. Sean McMahon was done with the Wallabies last year, Dom Day's happened in Japan before he's come here.
"I think we've only lost one or two inside the training program itself."