Jonny Wilkinson has insisted he will not be left with any mental scarring from the injury nightmare which has blighted his post-World Cup career.
ncerns have been raised that the England and British and Irish Lions’
fly-half might fail to match the high standards he set before succumbing to a succession of neck/shoulder, bicep and knee problems.
Wilkinson suffered his latest setback while on European Cup duty for Newcastle against Perpignan nearly three weeks ago and hit the depths of despair after initially believing another long term lay-off beckoned.
But the 25-year-old hopes to return in time for the second half of England’s Six Nations campaign – Italy on March 12 looks possible – after learning to live with the injury heartache which has wrecked the last 14 months.
He said: "I initially thought I would need a whole knee reconstruction job when I was injured at Perpignan and at that point I began to panic. That was the lowest mental state I’ve been.
"But when I found out the news was relatively good considering the alternatives I felt very positive.
"I realised I was enjoying my rugby at that point – especially playing in Perpignan – and that’s the feeling I keep with me now.
"What has also helped my comeback is the knowledge that the knee injury I had could have happened to anyone. My knees have always been strong, despite kicking so many balls around.
"I’ve learnt now that when you’re injured, you’re injured and you just have to accept that.
"That’s been very important in coping with the problems I’ve had and it’s made me positive about everything."
He added: "I’m certainly mindful of the dangers of coming back too soon.
"Being a kicker and having the injury on my left leg makes it very important to ensure I don’t develop any chronic problems.
"I do about two hours kicking practice a day and I want to continue that – I don’t want to have to change the way I play."