Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Top 14: Maximilano Bustos diagnosed with Cervical Disc Herniation

Photo Montpellier
There is grave concern in both Argentina and France as the playing future of Montpellier and Puma tighthead prop Maximilano Bustos is clouded. The twenty-eight year old front-rower has not played since injurying his back in round 19 of the Top 14. He is set to have the extent of his injury confirmed next month but has been diagnosed with a cervical disc herniation and could therefore possibly be forced into an early retirement.

The 2013-2014 season started in a highly positive manner for Maximilano Bustos. The Santa Fé born prop started the opening match of the season for Montpellier in the tighthead position and having featured in ten of the opening eleven Top 14 fixtures he was selected by Daniel Hourcade in Argentina's squad for the November 2013 internationals against England, Wales and Italy.

Bustos started all three November tests and did so despite having been left out of the squad for the 2013 Rugby Championship. Having been in the 2012 squad but unused Bustos debuted against Ireland in November 2012 and then faced England and Georgia in June 2012. Ahead of him for the Rugby Championship were Juan Figallo, Matías Díaz and Juan Pablo Orlandi. 

All three started tests in the Rugby Championship with Díaz starting the opening fixture against South Africa in Johannesburg while Orlandi started the final match against Australia in Rosario. Figallo started the remainder at tighthead  and was injured against the All Blacks in La Plata. The injury proved to be highly serious forcing Figallo to undergo surgery and miss the entire 2013-2014 season with Montpellier.

Bustos was called upon by both Argentina and Montpellier to fill the void left by Figallo. His performances in November saw him establish himself as the number two option behind Figallo and while on club duty he had also been delivering good performances for Montpellier. He was injured in the 50-19 home victory over the Catalans. Having complained of pain in his neck after the match Bustos was forced to seek medical attention as it deteriorated in the following days which led to him not playing again after February 15. 

He is now confirmed as not being in consideration for international duty in June and is now likely to undergo surgery which will require a subsequent long term rehabilitation program which could, possibly, see him never playing again. Bustos will, in other words, be likely to not play at all for Argentina in 2014 and should he return for Montpellier it would be well after the start of the 2014-2015 season. 

Despite missing the 2013-2014 season Figallo has been recovering and preparing for his return by training in Pensacola, Florida, USA. He is expected to be fit for the Rugby Championship. Both Bustos and Figallo, if fit, are certain members of Argentina's Rugby World Cup 2015 team. Argentina2023 wishes Bustos a happy recovery and hopes to see him back on the field fully fit. 

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