Australia’s positive news on the injury front has been dampened by Wycliff Palu’s disappointment.
Fresh from learning that midfield trio Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa and Rob Horne will be fit to play some part in the remainder of the World Cup, the Wallaby coaching staff had hoped to hear that Palu would do likewise.
But the diagnosis on the hamstring injury Palu picked up against the United States last week isn’t a good one, with Australia’s previous first-choice No8 facing six weeks on the sidelines.
It’s a bitter blow for the 29-year-old whose season has been heavily disrupted by injury.
Palu only just scraped into the 30-man World Cup squad after proving he had recovered from knee surgery by passing a fitness test in the week of selection. His 2011 Super Rugby campaign had previously been interrupted by shoulder and hamstring problems, with the latest setback a reoccurrence of the latter.
And it’s that history of previous damage rather than the actual severity of the new injury that has led to Palu preparing to fly home tomorrow.
"It's bad luck for Wycliff," said head coach Robbie Deans, who intends to wait until after Saturday’s final pool game against Russia before naming a replacement.
"Unfortunately, his previous history of injury in this area has impacted on the length of time required for his rehabilitation."
As for the player himself, Palu insists he sees no point getting too down about his recent run of bad luck and instead intends to focus on the future.
The Waratahs star is still young enough to play a prominent role for his country after the World Cup and beyond, with the 2013 Lions tour sure to be firmly on his horizon.
"I think you've just got to keep moving forward, you’ve just got to keep going," said Palu.
"I've just got to go back and do what I've been doing and try to get the body right and take my time with it.
"I feel there's still plenty of rugby ahead so I've just got to aim for that."
Wallaby full back Kurtley Beale is definitely out of the clash with Russia but will return for a likely quarter-final showdown with South Africa, while David Pocock (back), Scott Higginbotham (back), James O'Connor (hamstring), Dan Vickerman (leg) and captain James Horwill (shoulder) are all expected to be available this weekend.