Jonny Wilkinson is not expected to make his return to international rugby during this season's Six Nations Championship, according to Rob Andrew.
The Newcastle Falcons director of rugby claimed it is only "touch and go" whether the British & Irish Lions fly-half will be able to return for his club against Harlequins a week on Sunday - just six days before England's final match of the Six Nations against Scotland.
Andrew revealed the England star's recovery is progressing well but is adamant he should not be rushed into an international comeback.
Andrew told The Times: "The recovery is going very well but the key will be how he is reintroduced.
"That can only be through a club game, probably off the bench.
"It would be irresponsible to put him straight into a Test match.
"For the Harlequins game he might be close, but it is touch and go.
"We can't afford to get it wrong with a knee injury."
The news means that the only chance Wilkinson will have to prove his fitness for the Lions tour will be for his club.