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Page last updated at 10:44 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:44 UK

Vickery joins England casualties

Phil Vickery in action for Wasps
Vickery has made 73 international appearances for England

Phil Vickery has become England's latest injury casualty after he was ruled out for at least three months because of a neck injury.

The Wasps prop will miss England's three autumn internationals in November after he was told he required surgery to rectify the injury.

Vickery sustained the problem in Wasps' 18-13 win over Racing Metro last week.

England manager Martin Johnson faces a front-row crisis with Andrew Sheridan and Lee Mears ruled out with injuries.

Loose-head prop Sheridan faces a race to be fit for England's 2010 Six Nations campaign following a shoulder injury in Sale's Heineken Cup victory over Cardiff Blues on Friday.

And Bath hooker Mears faces up to eight weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury, which means Johnson will be without his first-choice front row.

Former England captain Vickery suffered neck pain during Wasps' Amlin Challenge Cup victory on 11 October.

The 33-year-old was examined by a consultant neurosurgeon, who advised surgery was required.


A Wasps statement read: "A collective decision by Phil, the consultant, Wasps' medical team and England has been made this week to progress with surgery to his neck.

"This will entail a rehab period in excess of three months."

Johnson faces a mounting injury deluge ahead of the three internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.

London Irish full-back Delon Armitage and Brive inside centre Riki Flutey will miss all three matches while Leicester fly-halves Toby Flood (ruptured Achilles) and Sam Vesty (hamstring) are only expected to return to action for the Tigers in November.

Vickery's Wasps team-mates Danny Cipriani (tibia hairline fracture) and Tom Rees (shoulder) are also unavailable because of injuries, while Saxons and Harlequins centre Jordan Turner-Hall, who was a possible contender to replace Flutey, is also out.

Wasps second row Simon Shaw is currently recuperating from a metatarsal injury and is a doubt for the first match against Australia on 7 November.

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see also
Sheridan faces Six Nations race
19 Oct 09 |  English
Hooker Mears out of autumn Tests
19 Oct 09 |  Bath
Sale 27-26 Blues
16 Oct 09 |  Rugby Union
Cipriani & Rees blow for England
09 Oct 09 |  English
England hit by Turner-Hall injury
24 Sep 09 |  English
Armitage to miss November Tests
15 Sep 09 |  English
Flutey faces three-month lay-off
14 Sep 09 |  English
Under-fire Vickery wins support
21 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union

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