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   Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 16:00 GMT
On the way back
Jonny Wilkinson in action for Newcastle against Northampton
Wilkinson should be back in a Falcons shirt soon
England fly-half and BBC Sport Online pundit Jonny Wilkinson explains why he hopes to be back in action shortly after recovering from his shoulder injury.

People keep asking me when I'm going to be back in action and it has been a frustrating few weeks.

But my shoulder injury is coming on well. I have seen a specialist who has told me that the joint is pretty much as stable as it needs to be.

If I played now it would be no different to if I played in a month's time.

But at the moment it is fairly painful and I need to test it out again, put it into some tackle bags and see how it feels.

Newcastle director of rugby Rob Andrew looks on during the defeat to London Irish
Rob Andrew has not pushed Jonny in his comeback

Right now I don't know whether it will be three or four days or ten days but I am going to be playing again very soon, which is really good news.

The injury turned out to be a bit more serious than I thought. The minimum time it takes to heal is four weeks, and the standard period is around six weeks, which for me was last Saturday.

But I had one of the more severe types so I have just had to be patient.

The aim is to come back for good when I do come back - not just briefly.

I am hoping to be back this week, or next week - it is just seeing what I am capable of now in training, and then seeing if I am selected.

At this stage, I have got to test the shoulder out properly and that will tell me when the time is right.

But all being well, if everything is OK as all the tests indicate I will be available for selection again soon.

It has given me extra enthusiasm and motivation to come back stronger than ever

I came into this situation fairly blind as I haven't had an injury like it before in the middle of the season.

I just have to act according to the information I am given by the people looking after me.

It might seem that I am under pressure to come back quickly but thankfully with the coaches and people like Steve Black looking after me at Newcastle that hasn't been the case.

Obviously I would have liked to have come back as soon as possible but I recognize, and they recognize, the situation.

It is a shoulder injury and it is a bad one, and it is going to take as long as it takes.

It is a very, very frustrating business sitting around and not getting involved in what you want to do in life.

Watching your team-mates play is difficult, especially when the results have not been going our way.

Mark Wilkinson attempts to clear the ball against London Irish
Jonny's brother Mark has played at stand-off in his absence

It is frustrating and disappointing, but it has given me extra enthusiasm and motivation to come back stronger than ever.

At least I have been able to do some kicking again in the last couple of weeks.

It is a bit of a relief really, as it was one of things that was really making me feel a bit down and a bit stressed.

But ever since I have been able to kick again I feel I am going forward.

My brother Mark has stepped into the fly-half position with the Falcons for the past couple of games and he has done very well.

It is not an easy position to step into - there is a huge amount of responsibility - but it has been good to watch and see him take that on.

Hopefully I will be back alongside him in the near future.

Links to more Jonny Wilkinson stories are at the foot of the page.


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