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Injured Cheika refusing to show weakness

AAP logoAAP 31/10/2016 Joe Barton

0500

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has rejoined the team in London ahead of their Spring Tour, a week after having shoulder surgery.

The cagey mentor - a tough-as-nails No.8 in his heyday playing club rugby for Randwick - went under the knife last Friday following an innocuous training incident with star fullback Israel Folau left him nursing a sore shoulder.

The surgery, which delayed his departure from Australia by 24 hours, means Cheika is required to have his arm a sling to aid the recovery.

But with the cameras rolling on Monday, during his first media opportunity for the European tour, at the team's luxurious south London base? Not a chance.

"No visible signs of weakness you know what I mean? Grin and bear it," Cheika said.

"I don't know about (whether I am) 'quite well' but the recovery is on the way, that's for sure.

"I have a new empathy for players recovering from reconstructive surgery because it's quite painful.

"Maybe it is because I am a little bit older. I just deal with it."

Folau was the unfortunate player to tangle with the coach at training in the lead-up to last week's third Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland - the 102kg fullback went up to collect a high ball and came down heavily on Cheika, who jammed his shoulder into the turf.

But Cheika said there were no hard feelings towards the two-time John Eales Medal winner.

"Izzy's still on the tour, so he's alright. He didn't get dropped," he said.

"The important thing was that he didn't get injured. The coach can't be injuring the players.

"It was pretty innocuous when it happened on the day. I just rolled over and got straight back up without realising (the damage that had been done). It's all good."

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