International five-eighth and Dragons captain Trent Barrett is not expected to play again this season after arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome right ankle today revealed deep ligament damage, requiring the ankle to be pinned.
Barrett's ankle will be immobilised for 6-8 weeks before the pin will be removed and he can begin rehabilitation work.
Barrett, 25, is obviously upset but is maintaining a positive outlook about the distressing news that has surprised him and the club.
“I have had problems with my lower right leg, but this injury is certainly a surprise,” he said.
“I'll be right - it happens to everyone. At least now I won't be anxious to rush back to play. I know when I come back I'll be fully fit and will have a full pre-season.”
Dragons Chief Executive Officer Peter Doust said prior to returning to play for the Dragons Barrett had undergone x-rays, bone scans, CT scans and MRIs which had all returned normal results.
Barrett was initially diagnosed with a cracked bone in his lower right leg when he injured it in the pre-season World Sevens tournament on February 2.
He was sidelined for nine weeks until April 13 when he played his first 2003 Telstra Premiership match in round five against the Manly Sea Eagles. He played another two games for the Dragons before pulling up sore last week after the City-Country Origin game.