Lions in prop dilemma

Double Lions tourist Phil Vickery looks likely to miss the entire Six Nations through injury. [more]

Lions in prop dilemma

Double Lions tourist Phil Vickery looks likely to miss the entire Six Nations through injury.

The 2001 and 2009 Lion is currently continuing his rehabilitation following neck surgery and is not expected to return to training for at least eight weeks.

The 33-year-old suffered the injury in October’s Amlin Challenge Cup tie with Racing Metro and had originally hoped to be able to play some part in the Six Nations tournament.

But Vickery now seems certain to miss out when England team manager and former Lions hero Martin Johnson names his Elite Player Squad later this week.

England begin their Six Nations campaign against Wales at Twickenham on February 6 – some four weeks before Vickery is expected back in training. 

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Fellow Lion Andrew Sheridan is also still out injured and is not expected to return to club action until mid-February.

The Sale giant is therefore unlikely to feature in any of England’s Six Nations matches as he battles back from a dislocated shoulder.

There was at least some good news on the prop front for Johnson, however, after Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill admitted Julian White was close to a comeback.

The 2005 Lions Test starter tore a hamstring in October just as it appeared he was set for an England recall.

White has been missing from Tigers duty ever since but could now be on the bench for Saturday’s Heineken Cup tie with Viadana.

"It looks like Julian will make his comeback next week and that gives him a chance for the Six Nations," said Cockerill.

"He suffered a serious injury and ended up needing surgery, but working on his farm has kept him fit and it will be good to have him back.”

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