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Haskell targets England recall after surgery
ESPN Staff
August 24, 2013
James Haskell last played for England in the 2013 Six Nations © PA Photos
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Wasps flanker James Haskell has conceded he was "operating at only 70 per cent" last season and admits he is still desperate to play for England.

Haskell underwent surgery over the summer on a knee problem which he says has troubled him for the past 10 years. But it is hoped the operation will correct the injury after having the damaged bursa removed from his left knee.

The tendonitis is now hopefully solved and he is in line to make his return to the playing field in October.

"My knee wrecked because I was falling on it all the time," Haskell said. "It affected me quite a bit. I came back from Japan and New Zealand with tendinitis in both my knees. It was debilitating, like running with bits of wood in front your knees. You can't bend, can't jump, can't explode or be powerful.

"I managed to get myself into a position to keep playing, but by that last game of the Six Nations I just wasn't able to perform. And then I had the issue with the bursa, which just made the tendinitis worse. I was probably operating at only 70 per cent last season. I managed to string some good games together for England and Wasps, but was not where I wanted to be."

Haskell missed out on a place in the Elite Player Squad for the 2013-14 season but he is keen to add to his 50 England caps this term.

"I wasn't surprised when I dropped out because I wasn't part of the tour to Argentina in the summer," Haskell added. "Matt Kvesic has been playing very well, Tom Croft is a double British and Irish Lion and Tom Wood is playing well.

"I've said to Stuart that I'm desperate to play for England, but I'm also happy to sit under the radar and build myself back up with Wasps. It's always difficult when you've been out of the mix for a while, you start looking at the other guys. There's a lot of talent around and you need to perform

"Slow and steady wins the race to come back. I don't expect to come back and be unbelievable, although this is the first proper rest I've had in the last five years. It's an opportunity during a non-stop career for 10 years to take my time and come back in good shape to play for Wasps and England.

"I'm older and wiser. I have my 50 caps for England and that can't be taken away from me."

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