Cooper fractures collarbone

Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper will be sidelined for up to three months after suffering a fractured collar bone during training.

The 26-year-old playmaker, who missed 16 weeks of rugby in 2014 due to an AC joint injury, will have surgery on Tuesday to repair the fracture, which occurred around the previous operation site. The decision was made Friday afternoon, after scans and a consultation with the Reds’ surgeon.

'It’s disappointing to lose Quade to such an innocuous collision during an opposed training session, but this is the nature of contact sport,' coach Richard Graham told the Reds website. 'Fortunately, we’ve recruited well in the off-season and we’re comfortable we have a number of options available to us.'

'I'm gutted to be missing the start of the season, but injury setbacks are something you learn to deal with and this isn’t the first time I’ve had to come back from something like this,' said Cooper. 'There’s a lot of excitement among the group for the season, so it’s good motivation for me to give myself every chance of getting back on the field as soon as possible.'

With Cooper set to miss the first few months of the season, utility back James O'Connor might be considered for the playmaker role.

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images