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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 January, 2004, 10:06 GMT
Six Nations hope for Tindall
Mike Tindall lies in agony after suffering an ankle injury
Tindall originally thought he had broken his leg
Bath centre Mike Tindall still hopes to play some part in England's Six Nations campaign after opting against surgery on damaged ankle ligaments.

Tindall was originally told he would need an operation, but specialists have subsequently revealed he has not completely ruptured all his tendons.

Initially facing three months on the sidelines, the World Cup winner could now be back in eight to 10 weeks.

"We'll just get into it with physio and see how it reacts," he said.

Tindall was stretchered off after scoring a try during Bath's 24-15 win over Saracens last Saturday.

An MRI scan indicated he had ruptured all three lateral ligaments, but the player is now hopeful intensive physiotherapy will enable him to return earlier than expected.

His rehabilitation time could now be cut to nine weeks
Bath coach John Connolly
"I've seen a couple of specialists now and everyone's recommended not having the operation," Tindall told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Hopefully then I'll be back quicker and hopefully back for some part of the Six Nations.

"It's going to take between eight and 10 weeks but we'll just have to see how it reacts and how quickly I can get myself back.

"Hopefully if it's eight weeks then there's a good chance I can make myself available for a few games."

Tindall will certainly miss England's opening Six Nations fixtures against Italy on 15 February and Scotland on 21 February.

The match against Ireland on 6 March will also probably come too soon, but he may come into contention for the final dates against Wales on 20 March and France a week later.

"It has now been confirmed by two surgeons that Mike will not need an operation," added Bath head coach John Connolly.

"His rehabilitation time could now be cut to nine weeks instead of the original predicted time span of 12 weeks."

Tindall is one of several England players sidelined by injury six weeks before England's opening date with Italy.

Stand-off Jonny Wilkinson hopes to return within a few weeks from his latest shoulder injury.

But Leicester prop Julian White is likely to miss the whole Six Nations campaign after undergoing knee surgery.

Tigers team-mate Dorian West is expected to be out for six weeks after also undergoing a knee operation.

Another Leicester forward, Lewis Moody, will be sidelined for another month with a stress fracture of the foot.

Wilkinson boost for Six Nations
01 Jan 04  |  English
Hill faces four weeks out
31 Dec 03  |  English
England's casualty list
30 Dec 03  |  Internationals
Tindall injury mars Bath win
27 Dec 03  |  English

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