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Wilkinson set to miss Six Nations

WILKO'S POST-2003 INJURY WOE
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 fly-half Jonny Wilkinson is likely to miss the 2009 Six Nations after it was confirmed his dislocated knee will sideline him for five months.

The 29-year-old's latest injury will rule him out until March and affect his chances of being selected for next summer's Lions tour to South Africa.

"This is the most debilitating injury I've had," Wilkinson told the Times.

"But I'll nail one thing: the idea this might be the end of my playing career. Forget it. It's not a consideration."

Wilkinson underwent surgery after dislocating his left knee at Gloucester last week and was expecting to be out for four months.

His planned return would have coincided with the start of the Six Nations, which begin on 7 February, but he will now be struggling to return in time for the final round of matches on 21 March.

The Lions' first tour match is against a Highveld XV on 30 May.

"I saw my knee specialist (on Thursday) and he confirmed the recovery time for my left knee is likely to be five months," said Wilkinson, who will require more surgery later this year to see if the first operation was successful.

"It is no secret that this does not augur well for my hopes for England or the Lions later in the summer but I will not rule anything out.

"If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, but it will have been worth striving for."

Falcons boss Bates laments Wilkinson loss

In his four outings for Newcastle this season Wilkinson had looked in good form and he added: "I haven't had a start of a season feeling so good.

"I was also getting the impression that the whole England scene was moving in the right direction.

"I had met up with the squad once, I was also in regular contact with Brian Smith, the new attack coach, and, knowing (head coach) Martin Johnson as I do, I was getting the feeling of an England environment that is as good and strong, as supportive and selfless, as you would hope for."

Johnson admits Wilkinson's latest injury setback is "very upsetting", adding: "but he's a strong guy and we look forward to him coming back."

Wilkinson will miss England's games against the Pacific Islands, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand at Twickenham next month.

The player most likely to replace him is Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani, who himself only returned from a serious ankle injury last week.

606: DEBATE
Johnson told the www.rfu.com podcast: "It's great for Danny to be back. We have been in contact the whole way (through his recovery) with him, as we would do with any injured player and he has worked incredibly hard, as have the people around him.

"The number 10 position is very competitive - there is some good depth there.

"Jonny is obviously the most experienced guy there, but Toby Flood is playing well at Leicester, Olly Barkley can play 10 and 12, so can Shane Geraghty, and Danny's back as well, with Andy Goode and Ryan Lamb in the Saxons."

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see also
Lions tour 2009
13 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Ellis dismisses England concerns
09 Oct 08 |  Leicester
Falcons upbeat after Wilkinson op
03 Oct 08 |  Newcastle
Dragons 25-14 Newcastle
03 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Gloucester 39-23 Newcastle
30 Sep 08 |  English
Cipriani puts club before country
06 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Wilkinson: The Comeback King
04 Feb 07 |  Rugby Union


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