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Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 13:33 UK

Phillips suffers Six Nations blow

Mike Phillips has his foot iced up after going off
Mike Phillips has his foot iced up after being replaced

Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips is set to miss the start of the Six Nations Championship after undergoing surgery to repair his damaged ankle ligaments.

The Lions star was already expected to miss Wales' autumn Tests but is now expected to be out for four months.

Phillips will also miss the Ospreys' remaining Heineken Cup pool fixtures.

The 27-year-old could also miss Wales' opening Six Nations clashes with England in Twickenham on 6 February and Scotland on 13 February in Cardiff.

An Ospreys statement confirmed: "Mike Phillips will today undergo surgery to repair ligament damage to the distal tib/fib joint. As a result, he is looking at a four-month lay-off."

Phillips hobbled off in the 33rd minute of last weekend's Heineken Cup win over Clermont Auvergne at the Liberty Stadium and needed an operation following "specialist tests that showed the full extent of the injury."

An initial diagnosis earlier this week suggested Phillips would be out about eight weeks with the ligament problem but this diagnosis is the worst case scenario for Ospreys and Wales coach Warren Gatland.

The Ospreys are facing a scrum-half crisis as Jamie Nutbrown is out for 10 weeks because of a knee injury.

And Tom Isaacs, the only other scrum-half registered in their Heineken Cup squad, is out for the rest of the season after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his shoulder after injuring it playing for Swansea.

Rhodri Wells, who plays mainly for Swansea, will step up to play for the region in Saturday's Welsh derby, while fellow scrum-half Rhys Webb hopes to be fit by December following shoulder surgery.

Wales coach Gatland can call upon Blues number nine Gareth Cooper, Sale scrum-half Dwayne Peel and Martin Roberts of the Scarlets, while Dragons player Wayne Evans is an outside bet.

Phillips will also miss playing for the Barbarians when they face the All Blacks at Twickenham on 5 December.

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see also
Peel backed for Wales Test start
22 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Ospreys 25-24 Clermont Auvergne
18 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Phillips named in Baa-Baas squad
14 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
Byrne out of Wales autumn Tests
14 Oct 09 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
European rugby archive
16 Aug 06 |  Rugby Union
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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