The Glasgow Warriors flanker has been ruled out for “several months” and faces a race to be fit for next year’s Six Nations Championship, which begins on the first weekend of February.
Darge dislocated his ankle in his club’s 52-24 win over Cardiff at Scotstoun on Friday night and had an operation the following day.
“It’s really disappointing and we’re all gutted for him,” said Pete Horne, the Glasgow assistant coach. “It sounds like he had really successful surgery on Saturday. We wish him all the best and the type of character he is, he’ll come back better than ever.”
Darge, 22, got caught in an awkward position in a ruck against Cardiff. He was treated on the pitch for a lengthy period and received oxygen before being wheeled off on a stretcher.
Scotland open their autumn series against Australia at Murrayfield on October 29 then host Fiji, New Zealand and Argentina in November.
“It’s gutting but in rugby that’s the nature of the beast – you’re going to pick up injuries,” added Horne. “It gives an opportunity now for some of the other guys to step up and make a claim.”
It is a cruel blow for the flanker, who made his international breakthrough in last season’s Six Nations after missing the 2021 Autumn Nations Series through injury.
Darge came off the bench against Wales in Cardiff in February for his Scotland debut then scored a try on his first start for his country a fortnight later in the 36-17 defeat by France. He retained his place for the remaining Six Nations games against Italy and Ireland and then played in all three Test matches on the summer tour of Argentina. He now faces an extensive period of rehabilitation.
“He’ll probably get a week or two away to try and get his head around it and then he’ll be back in,” said Horne. “Our lead physios and strength and conditioning team are on top of that, they’ve got a full programme.
“I do return-to-play skills, so we’ll have three or four skill sessions a week, so there will be plenty for him to do.”
The better news for Glasgow is that full-back Ollie Smith and stand-off Ross Thompson have both returned to training after back injuries, and No 8 Sione Vailanu has recovered from a bout of sickness.
Warriors play Ospreys in Swansea on Saturday looking to build on the impressive victory over Cardiff which got their season up and running after the disappointing defeat by Benetton in new head coach Franco Smith’s first match in charge.
Horne felt the win on Friday was like a throwback to Glasgow’s glory days as the Warriors scored eight tries and played some scintillating rugby.
“It was exactly what we needed,” he said. “Franco [Smith, head coach] spoke at half-time about trying to unite this club, and everyone associated with it. It was about being brave and keeping our foot on the gas and keeping on playing. I think we did that.
“It was reminiscent of Glasgow of old. It’s what everyone wants to see – you want to come and be entertained, ultimately.”