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Crane faces a year on the sidelines
ESPNscrum Staff
August 23, 2011
Leicester Tigers forward Jordan Crane awaits the ball, Leicester Tigers v Gloucester, Guinness Premiership, Welford Road, Leicester, England, February 20, 2010
Crane was impressive during the Churchill Cup © Getty Images
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Leicester Tigers' No.8 Jordan Crane is expected to miss the entire 2011-12 season after being forced to undergo knee surgery.

The news will come as a huge blow for Tigers boss Richard Cockerill who would have relied on his back-row's experience during the World Cup. The Tigers are expected to lose 11 of their charges during rugby's showpiece tournament and Cockerill concedes the news has come at a bad time.

"Jordan's injury has been caused by wear and tear over time and he has had successful surgery on his knee," Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury. "They have re-aligned his kneecap and it looks like he will be out for between nine and 12 months.

"He will be non weight-bearing for eight weeks and then slowly begin his rehab. It's really disappointing during such an important period with guys away at the World Cup.

"With Tom Croft in the England squad and Craig Newby injured, it only exacerbates the problem. It leaves us a little bit short of experience and leadership because Jordan plays a big part in that."

Crane missed half of the 2010-11 season following an operation on ruptured ankle ligaments at the start of the campaign and then suffered a knee injury in January. And despite a broken bone in his foot, Crane led the England Saxons to victory in the 2011 Churchill Cup.

The Tigers will potentially look to sign an "injury-joker" to cover Crane's absence - a move they have already carried out this summer following the recruitment of Julian Salvi to cover Craig Newby's injury.

"We can apply for injury dispensation and we will have to see where that takes us," said Cockerill. "Thomas Waldrom is a pretty good player there, Steve Mafi has played at No.8 and so has Salvi. So we will monitor how it goes and act accordingly."

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