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Heineken Cup
Ashton set for knee surgery
ESPNscrum Staff
May 17, 2011

Chris Ashton will undergo exploratory knee surgery after spearheading Northampton's bid for a second Heineken Cup title.

The England winger will line out against Leinster at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday before going under the knife later in the week to assess damage to his left knee.

Ashton is a certainty for Martin Johnson's Rugby World Cup squad and the England boss will be keen to hear good news as he steps up preparations for the tournament in New Zealand.

"I've got to have an operation on my knee next Wednesday," Ashton told the Daily Mail. "I think it's just a clean-up job. Hopefully there's not too much to it but I don't think they'll know exactly what's needed until they go in there."

Ashton also required stitches to his eye after taking three punches from Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi in the Saints' Aviva Premiership semi-final loss at Welford Road on Saturday.

The Saints are set to be without one of Ashton's England team-mates, flanker Tom Wood, for this weekend's final, with the former Worcester openside struggling with a hairline leg fracture.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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