Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flutey's Joy with Wasps after Move to Brive Went Sour

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Flutey's Joy with Wasps after Move to Brive Went Sour

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones Rugby Correspondent

RIKI FLUTEY knew he was in trouble after picking up a bottle of milk from the fridge sent a bolt of pain into the shoulder that had been operated on 10 weeks earlier.

It was the first sign that the England centre would have to undergo more surgery as his injury-hit debut season with Brive sunk to another low.

Surgery and extensive rehabilitation on his left shoulder had made Flutey believe that the injury -- which had become serious after his Test debut for the Lions last year -- was no longer a factor. However, further examinations after the Six Nations and the milk incident, necessitated another operation and yet more time with the Rugby Football Union physios and medical staff as he made regular trips over with his family from France.

It meant he only played five matches all season for Brive, who were unhappy that Flutey appeared in all but one of England's Six Nations matches and then returned needing that second operation.

Flutey signed a two-year deal when he joined from London Wasps last summer but after a troubled season he has now rejoined the Aviva Premiership team. The decision has brought order to his family life with wife Sarah --who is pregnant with their third child -- and allowed him to return to a club that helped him become a key member of the England back division.

Flutey said: "Every time I came back for treatment it meant Sarah, my daughter Madison (3) and son Joseph (20 months) were also making the trip and that was a lot of upheaval for all of us. I was lucky to have the medical staff at Twickenham to get me fit again and I was really determined to get back.

"We had hardly settled in France because we would be in London for six weeks, back in Brive for two weeks and then another eight weeks here and it just continued like that as I tried to get fit. It made making new friends and enjoying the new club and culture -- all the things I had been looking forward to in France -- pretty impossible.

"Initially I had a tear in my shoulder which surgery tightened up and then 10 weeks after the operation, I went to the fridge, grabbed a bottle of milk and couldn't raise the arm as normal. …

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