Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill believes that it was the right decision for Scotland’s Hamish Watson to go under the knife sooner rather than later.
Flanker Watson will miss his country’s summer tour of the Americas after he had surgery on a shoulder injury on Thursday.
The problem had been afflicting the 26-year-old openside for a number of weeks and forced him to miss Edinburgh’s European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues at BT Murrayfield last week.
Watson was an ever-present for Scotland in the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations, helping Gregor Townsend’s side to win three out of their five games to finish third in the table.
It was their highest position in the Championship since 2006 and it included a famous 25-13 victory over England in round three, their first against the ‘Auld Enemy’ in a decade.
However, Watson won’t be able to add to his 20 international caps this summer after the decision was made, after consultation with Scotland’s coaching staff, for him to have surgery.
It means Townsend will have to do without him for the Scots’ matches against Canada, the USA and Argentina in June, while he’ll miss Edinburgh’s attempt to qualify for the play-offs in the PRO14.
Cockerill said: “We’ve chosen to get it done now because he’ll then be fully fit for pre-season and he can have a summer off and recuperate.
“He’s a relatively small man in the modern game, who plays big, and it’s a World Cup year.
“So, in consultation with Gregor Townsend, the right thing to do for the player is to get that done now, rather than play at 80 per cent or 90 per cent.
“He’ll have a full pre-season for the first time in a long time. If you look at guys like [Stuart] McInally and [Grant] Gilchrist, last summer, not going on tour and having a good rest and a good pre-season, has actually been very good for them.
“Hamish has had a high workload. He plays in a very combative position and he’s a very combative player, who’s not a massive man, so I think it’s just sensible that we look after him, he has his clean-up on his shoulder and has a good break.”