A serious knee injury has destroyed Karmichael Hunt's Rugby World Cup hope.
Scans have revealed that hunting will be sidelined for 12 weeks with a medial ligament wound joining the NSW Waratah's Super Rugby loss to the Jaguar in Sydney on Saturday.
The double international long lay-off means he will miss all five of Australia's tests before their World Cup opener against Fiji on September 21st.
Waratah's coach Daryl Gibson, who left Hunt a lifeline by signing the 32-year-old this season after being undesirable on Queensland Reds, said the injury was a bitter pill for the center to swallow.
"Of course he has had a really good season for us. When he first came down, there were many questions about his off-field (disciplinary record)," Gibson said Wednesday.
"But he has certainly answered it in spades. He has been great to our team, a great manager, and he has had an excellent season for us."
If all goes well, Hunt will be ready to play in late August, less than a month before the global showpiece starts.
"I don't know where it puts him in the frame of Wallabies," Gibson said.
"Of course he will go through his rehab processes and see where it gets him."
Hunt played all six of his tests in 2017, but has so far been overlooked by Wallabies coach Michael Cheika for two training camps this year.
Off contract in late 2019, Waratahs are keen to keep hunting.
"We've decided these discussions," Gibson said.
"Whether we can get to the money he is after is another question."
Australian Associated Press