Former Lion Charlie Hodgson is hoping to make a swift recovery from injury to stake his claim for a World Cup spot.
Hodgson aims to make it third time lucky after missing the last two World Cups with knee injuries.
After regaining an England place in the autumn he fractured his foot in the 21-11 defeat to South Africa. But Hodgson is hopeful of making a quicker than anticipated return.
"The injury was just one of those freaks. I went to kick the ball and ended up kicking someone in the head instead so it was just a split second thing really," Hodgson told the Manchester Evening News.
"Any injury is disappointing regardless of when it comes around. Missing out on any game time is difficult whether it’s here at Sale or with England."
"There has been a long time scale suggested but I’m pretty hopeful it will be a lot less than that. I don’t know precisely at this stage. It would be nice to say which game I would be back for but, at the moment, I just can’t do that.
"In the worst case scenario it could be a long one but I’m hopeful. My healing powers are pretty good and, touch wood, I will be back sooner.
"It was great to be part of the squad for the whole Autumn series. I had a little taste of it on the summer tour to Australia and it’s just a good, positive environment to be in.
"There’s some brilliant players coming through and some superb more experienced guys there and I think there is a good balance there.
"Everyone worked really hard and despite the disappointment of losing to South Africa I think as a whole the squad is moving forward.
"I have only been a part of it for a few weeks but you can see that a real team environment there. Everyone gets on well, and the more time everyone gets to know each, the better the understanding is and it’s a massive advantage.
"In New Zealand they don’t tend to change things round too much and they are reaping the rewards now. It was the same with the England team that won the World Cup.
"Although I didn’t get a great amount of game time, I think the coaching and management staff were pleased with my attitude in training. I took it as a great opportunity regardless of whether I played or not.
"If it meant sitting on the bench for four games and not getting on I would have taken that it was just a case of getting my foot back in the door. And to have the opportunity to play in a few of their games was brilliant for me.
"I think as you get older, you definitely learn not to take things for granted. It was also nice to prove a few people wrong and maybe shut a few people up and for my own sense of personal achievement and pride that I’ve managed to get back in the squad again.
"I only played 50-55 minutes across the four games so you can’t read too much into it but, ultimately, I think I need to try and be involved in the Six Nations and to then move on from there."
Hodgson's future at Sae has been the subject of intense speculation. The 30-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season but has remained tight-lipped over what his future holds.
"There’s obviously going to be speculation because I’m in the last year of my contract," added Hodgson.
"People can talk about whatever they want really. From my point of view my only concern is to think about what I want and need and what my family needs and then coming to some sort of decision from there really.
"I’m still not sure about what I’m going to do next and I’ll take it from there. There’s obviously loads of rumours connecting me with this club and that but I can’t do anything about that at all.
"It’s all speculation from my point of view and until something concrete happens there is no point talking about it."