Scotland skipper Nicol's injury woe

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The Independent Online

Scotland skipper Andy Nicol has been ruled out through injury of prestige test matches against the USA, Australia and Samoa.

Scotland skipper Andy Nicol has been ruled out through injury of prestige test matches against the USA, Australia and Samoa.

A knee problem means he will not take part in the games this autumn.

He was examined by a specialist yesterday after limping off in Glasgow Caledonians' game against Newcastle Falcons of Monday.

It was today confirmed by the Scottish Rugby Union that he has sprained the medial ligament in his left knee which will be out of action for at least six weeks.

National coach Ian McGeechan had planned to build his side around the inspirational skipper and he admitted that the news has badly affected his preparations.

McGeechan said: "It's obviously disappointing that Andy will not be available for the Tests against the USA, Australia and Samoa.

"His contribution to the development of our current international squad has been immense and we look forward to seeing him playing again as soon as possible."

Nicol linked up with the national squad for training on Monday and was making his first start since undergoing an operation on a torn cartilage in his knee.

The good news was that it was not the knee he had surgery on after Scotland's summer tour to New Zealand.

However, the lay-off not only leaves Scotland reeling but is also a massive setback for Caledonians' Heineken Cup hopes.

After opening their campaign with a defeat at Pontypridd last week the Reds will be looking to kick-start their bid with victory over Leicester this weekend.

But now they will have to make do without Nicol for over a month and a half, in which time their European Cup fate could be decided.

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