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Wilkinson's knee injury could rule him out of Six Nations

Latest update : 2008-10-10

Star fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, who dislocated his knew during a English championnship game, could miss the 2009 Six Nations tournament. It should take him five months to recover from the latest in a long line of injuries.

England star Jonny Wilkinson faces missing the Six Nations tournament after revealing that the dislocated knee-cap he suffered on Premiership duty for Newcastle against Gloucester last week is one of his worst ever setbacks.

The 29-year-old is set to be ruled out of action until March and he reflected that although he would not quit, the latest in a long line of serious injuries was a massive blow - though he said he would bounce back.

"This is the most debilitating injury I've had," Wilkinson said in his column for the Times newspaper on Friday.

"But I'll nail one thing: the idea this might be the end of my playing career. Forget it. It's not a consideration," insisted England's record points-scorer.

"I saw my knee specialist yesterday and he confirmed that the recovery time for my left knee is likely to be five months.

"It is no secret that this does not augur well for my hopes for England, or the Lions later in the summer, but, as is my way, I will not rule anything out. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, but it will have been worth striving for."

England coach Martin Johnson had Thursday said he was stunned by Wilkinson's latest injury nightmare.

"It is very upsetting when you see that for a guy who has had a lot of injuries during the last four or five years to get hurt again," Johnson said.

"But he's a strong guy. He's had surgery, which has gone well and we look forward to him coming back."

Danny Cipriani, who ended last season's Six Nations as England fly-half, is set to be promoted from the England Saxons squad to replace Wilkinson in Johnson's 32-man elite group having himself begun his comeback from an horrific ankle injury just 24 hours after Wilkinson was hurt.

Wilknson, whose last-gasp drop goal against Australian won England the World Cup, has had to endure a welter of injury lay-offs since suffering ankle ligament damage playing for Newcastle in 2002.

The following year he was beset by shoulder trouble and then missed the 2004 Six Nations after a shoulder operation.

A haematoma in the upper right arm was his next ailment and then early 2005 brought knee ligament damage in a Heineken Cup defeat at French side Perpignan.

Medial ligament damage, another shoulder injury and then appendix surgery followed in quick succession prior to groin problems in late 2005 and early 2006.

Knee ligament problems returned in autumn 2006 and then kidney damage forced a renewed layoff.

In September last year Wilkinson suffered a twisted ankle in training to miss England's World Cup opener against the United States.

Last May he underwent shoulder surgery to miss England's summer tour of New Zealand and then came the kneecap injury against Gloucester bringing yet another enforced layoff for one of the international game's top stars.

Date created : 2008-10-10