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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 December, 2003, 15:19 GMT
Wilkinson 'frustrated' by injury
Jonny Wilkinson
Wilkinson has been in demand since his return from Australia
World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson has revealed his frustration after being forced to delay his return to rugby.

The 24-year-old England fly-half had to watch as Newcastle reached the next round of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup by easily beating Valladolid.

He was forced to postpone his comeback when X-rays revealed a fractured facet in his shoulder.

"I want to be back doing my bit because not being able to do that frustrates me deeply," he admitted.

Wilkinson needed treatment to his shoulder area during the World Cup final win over Australia after making a tackle on Elton Flatley.

He began to feel discomfort during a weight training session earlier this week and CT scans on Saturday revealed a small fracture.

I'm desperate to get back out there and do my bit for the team
Jonny Wilkinson

Wilkinson is expected to be out until Christmas but he was still the centre of attention at Kingston Park, where he was mobbed by the two dozen visiting Spanish fans at a pre-match reception, and drew the half-time raffle.

"I'm trying to enjoy myself that way, it keeps down the pain for a while," he said.

"It sort of cheers me up being amongst the world's happiest people here."

However he expects to be back in contention for England's first Six Nations Championship against Italy in Rome in February.

"My neck is the main problem," he said. "It's an old injury so it's been healing for quite a few weeks anyway so it could be that I have only got two or three weeks to go.

"I'm just keen to make sure it gets back strong and that I don't have this problem again, I don't think I will have.

"I'm desperate to get back out there and do my bit for the team. I'm going to be here for training all next week and I am keen to keep my normal life going," he said.

Wilkinson receives MBE
10 Dec 03  |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson unhurt after car crash
09 Dec 03  |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson honoured again
04 Dec 03  |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson parades World Cup
29 Nov 03  |  Rugby Union

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