Super Rugby 2020: Chiefs Luke Jacobson, Angus Ta'avao set for lengthy injury absences

The Chiefs have been stung with a double dose of bad injury news, with confirmation that All Blacks Luke Jacobson and Angus Ta'avao both face extended stints on the sideline.

After overcoming ear and achilles issues, Ta'avao appeared to be nearing a return to the field, until closer inspection of a leg injury revealed a quadricep tear.

The prop now faces an 8-12 week recovery timetable, that would see him sidelined for most of the regular season.

Playing his first game of the season in last week's 26-14 defeat to the Brumbies, Jacobson's return lasted just 10 minutes, as his problematic hamstring came back to haunt him.

At the very least, coach Warren Gatland ruled him out of action for their next match against the Waratahs, after this week's bye.

Gatland said the All Blacks flanker appeared fit to play last week, but after such a lengthy period off the field, the rigours of matchplay exposed a 'neural' problem. 

"The hamstring was a bit tight, but we thought he was 100 percent and ready to go," Gatland said at Tuesday's training.

"From a running perspective, he was good, but when you go out there in a full-on game, with pushing in scrums and mauling, it's a load that's hard to replicate from a training perspective."

Gatland will likely take a cautious approach with Jacobson's return.

"We're aware of that and have to make sure we do that work with him over the next few weeks."

In more encouraging news, All Blacks prop Nepo Laulala is expected to return to training next week, as he recovers from a knee issue suffered in the opening-week win over the Blues. 

His initial prognosis was six weeks, which may put him in the selection frame during their South Africa trip in two weeks.

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