Beale delays surgery to keep playing

The Waratahs and Wallaby utility back requires surgery to remove a bone spur from his foot.

Waratahs utility back Kurtley Beale. Picture:

LONDON - Kurtley Beale needs surgery to remove a bone spur from his foot but the Australia utility back plans to delay the operation and keep on playing until he gets some off from rugby or the pain becomes unbearable.

The 25-year-old limped off during last week's New South Wales Waratahs' 19-12 victory over South Africa's Bulls with what many suspected was an ankle injury that forced him to miss training on Tuesday.

Beale, however, said on Thursday he had a bone spur in his left foot that will need surgery to repair but added that he was managing the pain and was still able to play on a week-to-week basis.

"There is a bit of a spur in there," Beale told reporters at Sydney airport before the Waratahs left for New Zealand for their clash with Auckland Blues.

"Obviously at the beginning of the season I always knew that there'd be a bit of pain here and there.

"It's just unfortunate that there is a minor problem there, but it's managed - easily managed - and that's the best thing about it.

"Depending on how it goes, I think we'll just take it week by week."

Beale said he would probably require six weeks recovery time after the operation, indicating that if he is able to manage the injury through the season then it could be done after the Wallabies' end of year tour in Europe.

The mercurial Beale, who has played fullback and flyhalf for the Wallabies, appears to have found his niche at inside centre for the Waratahs in Super Rugby this season where his distribution, running and kicking skills give the side more attacking options.

He has played in all eight of the Waratahs matches and while coach Michael Cheika had said he would need to manage Beale's training workload he will make his ninth successive appearance on Friday at Eden Park after taking a full part in training on Wednesday.

"You go into every game knowing that it could be risky. It's a contact sport," Beale said.

"At the moment, the medical staff ... are doing a fine job at managing it and we've got a really good understanding there of how to approach it.

"The medical staff have got different ways to help manage that - going back to icing and compression, and de-loading it helps a lot and that's what we've done this week and it's worked."