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Martin Johnson upset by Jonny Wilkinson’s injury setback


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England boss Martin Johnson says that his former Team mate Jonny Wilkinson latest injury setback is “very upsetting”.

The world’s leading points scorer who plays fly-half for England and Newcastle underwent surgery last week after dislocating his knee at Gloucester last week and is likely to be out of action until the end of the year.

World cup winner Wilkinson now 29, had only just returned to playing rugby after a shoulder operation and Johnson said: “It is very upsetting after the injuries he has had to get hurt again.

“But he’s a strong guy and we look forward to him coming back.” Johnson told the BBC.

Wilkinson’s shoulder operation ruled him out of England’s trip to New Zealand in June and now this injury has ruled him out of England’s matches against the Pacific Islands, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand at Twickenham next month.

While Wilkinson was initially expected to miss the start of the Six Nations which starts in February, one of the UK’s leading orthopaedic surgeons, Simon Moyes, believes Wilkinson could return to action in time to figure in the 2009 Six Nations campaign

“The earliest he’d be likely to get back to top-level rugby would be three months, but more likely four,” said Moyes, who works at London’s Wellington Hospital.

“I would estimate there will be a 90% chance of him doing so.”

Johnson must now name a replacement for Wilkinson in the England Elite squad and many believe that he will call up Wasps fly-half Danny Cipriani, who himself only returned from a serious ankle injury last week.

Johnson said: “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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