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Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 12:34 UK

Wilkinson suffers dislocated knee

Jonny Wilkinson's injuries
(14) - Oct 2008: Dislocates knee
(13) - May 2008: Shoulder operation. Misses England tour to NZ
(12) - Sep 2007: Twists ankle. Misses first game of RWC
(11) - Nov 2006: Suffers kidney damage. One month on sidelines
(10) - Sep 2006: Knee ligament injury. Misses autumn Tests
(9) - Jan 2006: Torn abductor muscle
(8) - Nov 2005: Groin operation
(7) - Sep 2005: Appendix operation
(6) - Jul 2005: Shoulder/arm injury v NZ. Misses third Lions Test
(5 )- Mar 2005: Injures same left knee on comeback
(4) - Jan 2005: Knee ligament damage. Two months out
(3) - Oct 2004: Haematoma in right arm. Misses autumn tests
(2) - Feb 2004: Shoulder operation. Misses Six Nations
(1) - Dec 2003: Shoulder injury

Newcastle and England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after dislocating his knee.

The 29-year-old suffered the injury against Gloucester on Tuesday in only his fourth game since returning from six months out after shoulder surgery.

Wilkinson was carried off midway through the first half at Kingsholm.

"He has enormous strength of character and I am sure he will come back stronger," said Newcastle's director of rugby Steve Bates.

England begin their autumn Test programme at Twickenham in less than six weeks and Wilkinson, who is awaiting specialist advice on the length of his absence, is now a major doubt.

Wilkinson was set to contest the fly-half jersey with Leicester's Toby Flood and fit-again Danny Cipriani against the Pacific Islands, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, the first Tests under new manager Martin Johnson.

Cipriani took over from Wilkinson in England's number 10 jersey for the last game of this year's Six Nations against Ireland.

On Wednesday he will play his first game for Wasps since recovering from a serious ankle injury he suffered in May.

The 20-year-old was not included in Johnson's 32-man elite England squad in July, as it was anticipated he would be sidelined until the new year, and was named in the Saxons squad instead.

But Johnson has the option of moving players into the elite squad in the event of injury or suspension.

Premier Rugby Ltd chief executive Mark McCafferty told BBC Radio Five Live Cipriani could yet win a place in the squad under the exceptional circumstances rule.

"If they want to consider Cipriani, which they may well do, the situation where a player has come back from a long-term injury much sooner than expected is an exceptional circumstance," said McCafferty.


A statement from the Rugby Football Union said: "The England coaching and medical teams are in close contact with Newcastle Falcons regarding Jonny Wilkinson.

"A further comment will be made after they receive the results of the specialist's review of his injured left knee."

Wilkinson missed three years of Test rugby after kicking England to World Cup glory in 2003.

World rugby's highest-ever Test points scorer has suffered knee, arm, shoulder and kidney problems among a variety of ailments.

He has suffered medial ligament damage to his left knee twice before, against Perpignan in January 2005 and on his comeback against Harlequins in March 2005.

He returned to the international scene at the start of the 2007 Six Nations and helped guide England to an unexpected World Cup final place last October.

But he missed this summer's tour to New Zealand to undergo shoulder surgery.

see also
Gloucester 39-23 Newcastle
30 Sep 08 |  English
Cipriani returns to Wasps line-up
30 Sep 08 |  London Wasps
Wilkinson key for Falcons - Bates
19 Sep 08 |  Newcastle
Wilkinson: The Comeback King
04 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union

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