Tindall ruled out for three months
March 22, 2011
England skipper Mike Tindall has been ruled out for three months © Getty Images
England skipper Mike Tindall has been ruled out for three months after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.
The 32-year-old centre was injured in his side's Calcutta Cup victory over Scotland on March 13, with the problem forcing him to skip last weekend's crushing loss to Ireland, when their dreams of a first Grand Slam since 2003 were extinguished.
Tindall underwent surgery on Monday, 24 hours after his Gloucester team-mates had lifted the Anglo-Welsh Cup with a comfortable victory over Newcastle at Franklin's Gardens.
The in-form Cherry and Whites are currently third in the Aviva Premiership, with their skipper now set to miss their push for further silverware as well as England's non-cap meeting with the Barbarians at the end of May.
"Tindall was examined under anaesthetic and they decided to operate," England manager Martin Johnson said. "He had an operation on the medial deltoid ligament in his ankle with an expected return of around 12 weeks."
Johnson does not expect Tindall's injury to impact on the centre's involvement in the Rugby World Cup. "Am I concerned about him? Not a guy of his experience, no. When you look at the games for some players between now and the World Cup, there aren't a huge amount if their clubs don't make the play-offs," he said.
"We will manage all the players individually. Some guys might play in the Barbarians game at the end of May if they have missed a bit of rugby and are on their way back from injuries. Hopefully they will all go through the rest of the season playing well, get a good break and then come in. We will run some camps before June 20, which is the official World Cup camp. If we need to bring people in for fitness and medical reasons in May, June we will do that."
Tindall's wedding to Zara Phillips is on July 31, a week before England play Wales at Twickenham in the first World Cup warm-up game. The centre has said he would be available for the game on August 6, although Johnson indicated there would be room for manoeuvre.
"He spoke to me and said he is getting married at the end of July. I said it is a week before the first game and he said 'right, I'm available'. We will have further conversations," Johnson said. "There is a lot to play out between now and then."
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