Argentina captain Felipe Contepomi, who is a qualified doctor, has said that it is too early to tell how serious the rib injury which forced him off the field in his team's narrow loss to England really is.
The veteran pivot led the way in the first half as the Pumas took the game to the 2003 champions in the opening exchanges, and he played through the pain barrier for a while before eventually being forced off.
Contepomi explained that he would know more about the nature of his injury once an X-ray has been done to establish whether he has injured the rib itself or just the cartilage.
"I don't know, I'm going for an X-ray. It's a cartilage or rib," he said.
The skipper was not the only Pumas player to receive medical attention during the brutal battle at the Otago Stadium in Dunedin, and the South Americans will be hopeful that all of their senior players will be available for the remainder of their pool matches as they will need all their weapons at their disposal in order to qualify for the knock-out phase of the tournament.
The talismanic Contepomi was left lamenting the heartbreaking loss in a match where both sides struggled to land goalkicks under a permanent roof, and he admitted that his team now face an uphill battle in the rest of their pool matches after the early setback.
He explained: "In terms of the result, it can cost us dear. It's always easier if you start by winning your first game in a World Cup."
However, the Pumas captain was heartened by the determined performance by his team and said that they could still go far if they manage to recreate the intensity they showed against England in the rest of their games.
"In terms of performance, the whole team has made a big step forward and we can build on this. We have three games ahead of us when, hopefully, we can improve," he said.
The Pumas repeatedly overpowered England up front and ran them ragged behind the scrum as well but they had their hearts broken by a late Ben Youngs try after leading for most of the match.
Argentina coach Santiago Phelan commented: "We didn't score the points when we got into good positions. The team did what we were planning, we wanted a strong defence and that happened."
The Pumas squandered a possible 18 points through six missed penalties but Phelan refused to blame fullback Martin Rodriguez, who did the bulk of Argentina's goalkicking for the defeat.
"Kicking is part of the game but you can score through other opportunities," he pointed out.
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