Tue, Sep 12, 2006 - Page 20 News List

England star Wilkinson injured, out again

AFP , LONDON

England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson watches the rugby international against South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, London, on Nov. 20, 2004.

PHOTO: AP

England rugby star Jonny Wilkinson will be sidelined for between four and eight weeks after being diagnosed with a torn medial ligament in his right knee.

Wilkinson has suffered a catalogue of injuries since the 2003 World Cup when he kicked the championship-winning drop goal which beat hosts Australia -- including neck, bicep, knee ligament and groin problems.

The Newcastle fly-half, injured against Worcester on Friday, placed doubt over his role for England in the autumn internationals after revealing the extent of his latest crisis in his column in the Times.

He said: "I've gone past the stage of saying `Why me ... why does it always happen?'"

"I know some people will start thinking about what that means regarding the autumn international season. I guess it does not augur well but to be honest thoughts of England are miles away," Wilkinson wrote. "I've started to come to terms with my situation. I accept the injuries more quickly and rather than wasting mental energy feeling frustrated I'm instead thinking `What can I do to cut down the rehab time.'"

"The injury is exactly the same as the old knee injury except it's the right knee this time. It's a grade two partial medial ligament tear. It took me nine weeks to come back from the last one," he added.

"I heard quite a rigorous pop [when it happened], a noise I recognized from when I'd injured my left knee. When I stood up I had that same loose feeling around the joint so I knew pretty much immediately what had happened. I knew I couldn`t play on, I was just keen to get off the field and get it iced," he wrote.

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