Sheridan set to continue

Lions prop Andrew Sheridan is determined to return to action despite his latest setback. [more]

Sheridan set to continue

Lions prop Andrew Sheridan is determined to return to action despite his latest setback.

The 2005 and 2009 Test Lion is currently recovering from a fourth shoulder operation in two years after leaving England’s World Cup campaign after the opening victory over Argentina.

The sheer volume of injuries experienced by the giant loose head had prompted suggestions that an early retirement may be on the cards, with Sheridan himself admitting that he would need time to mull over his next move.

Sheridan would be in line for a substantial insurance payout if he did take advice to call it a day but he insists he has no intentions of turning his back on the sport just yet.

"Obviously the insurance is pretty good but that's not what I'm about. Getting back and playing is what it's about," Sheridan told the Manchester Evening News.

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"With it being the fourth shoulder injury in less than two years, retirement was something I had to think seriously about.

"I obviously thought at the time that retirement was an option simply because of the facts. But once I got back to Manchester and saw my surgeon, Professor Len Funk, he was very confident that there was no reason why I couldn't get back and carry on playing rugby.

"It's not a cast-iron certainty but he thought there was no reason why, with the Latarjet procedure I've had on my left shoulder and a decent period of rehab, it couldn't be as strong as it possibly could be.

"Mentally, I'm pretty positive but I'm also realistic. I am getting a little bit older now but I'm certainly going to give it everything to come back and try to play some games for Sale."

No official timescale has been put on Sheridan’s return but the 31-year-old is hoping to feature again for his club by the beginning of February.

As for his future prospects of winning more England caps or making it a hat-trick of Lions tours in 2013, Sheridan is more cagey and is refusing to look too far ahead.

"The recovery after such an operation is anything between three and six months but it would be nice for it to be about four months," added Sheridan.

"I think that's a realistic time frame and I am aiming for the back end of January and the start of February as a return date. And if I manage that there would be a good sequence of games here at Sale that I could be considered for.

"Looking long term, I can't decide anything yet as a lot depends on my fitness and how I recover but I'd like to stay here going forward.

"As a rugby player you just want to be out there playing. Once you've stopped playing, it’s over. I haven't played as much as I would have liked to in the past two years so I just want to get back fit and put together a good sequence of games for the club."

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