Manu Tuilagi dodges surgery
September 26, 2013
Manu Tuilagi will sit out the November Tests © Getty Images
England's centre options
Leicester Tigers have confirmed Manu Tuilagi will miss the autumn internationals but the prognosis regarding his injury is better than first feared.
Tuilagi tore a muscle in his chest in the closing stages of Leicester's 31-6 victory over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday. It was Tuilagi's first match back for his club side after he was sidelined for the first two games of the 2013-14 season due to a shoulder injury he sustained while on British & Irish Lions duty.
Despite putting in a strong performance for the Tigers, the Leicester faithful will have to wait a while to see the England centre back in action. Reports on Tuesday suggested Tuilagi could be forced to undergo surgery to correct the injury.
But the Leicester Mercury has confirmed Tuilagi suffered a muscle tear but he has avoided surgery. He will now undergo "non-intrusive rehab at his club", according to the newspaper.
Rather than returning to the field in the New Year, Tuilagi could be fit in time for Leicester's back-to-back December games against Montpellier in the Heineken Cup.
However, that timeframe means Tuilagi will be forced to sit out England's three-Test November series which sees Stuart Lancaster's men take on Australia, Argentina and New Zealand on consecutive weekends.
The news means Lancaster is now without two of his premier centres with Brad Barritt also sidelined for the November Tests. That leaves Lancaster with just two fit centres in his senior EPS - Bath's Kyle Eastmond and Gloucester's Billy Twelvetrees. Saracens' Owen Farrell could slot in to the centres and Leicester's Toby Flood has also run out there but they are likely to vie for the fly-half spot.
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