Tuilagi sidelined for six weeks
October 27, 2011
Tuilagi tries to force his way through against Gloucester © Getty Images
England's Manu Tuilagi looks set to be out of action for six weeks after breaking his cheekbone.
The news comes as a massive blow to Richard Cockerill's Leicester Tigers side after they have already lost many of their stellar names to injury this term. They have been without the likes of Craig Newby, Jordan Crane, Geoff Parling, Micky Young and Kieran Brookes at stages throughout the season and face further woe with the news of Tuilagi being sidelined after suffering a clash of heads with Scott Lawson during their 40-14 triumph over Gloucester last Friday.
And Tuilagi will be joined on the sidelines by fellow centre Anthony Allen as he looks set to sit out the next three months due to a thumb injury suffered during a DIY session. Mat Tait would have been called upon to fill the void left by the duo but he is out until December after suffering a groin injury against Harlequins.
With another centre Billy Twelvetrees struggling with an ankle injury, boss Cockerill faces a selection dilemma ahead of Friday's clash with Sale.
"Our luck is not getting any better, is it?" Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury. "Manu's was just one of those things in a collision. It's a straightforward break and he will be out for six weeks.
"Ant was doing some DIY at home and cut his thumb. He has had surgery and it will take three months to heal."
Despite the bad news in the injury department, Cockerill hopes to receive a boost in the near future with England prop Dan Cole on the verge of signing a new deal at Welford Road. Despite being linked with the likes of Bath and Harlequins and having Italy international Martin Castrogiovanni as a rival for the tight-head spot, Cockerill is adamant the 24-year old wants to stay with the Tigers.
"Dan is out of contract and we are a long way down the road towards solving those issues," Cockerill said. "We want him to stay and he would like him to stay.
"I am sure something will get resolved very soon. We will do whatever we can to make sure that Dan stays."
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