Wallaby openside David Pocock has hinted that he may skip next month’s tour of Europe in order to focus on his rehab.
Pocock suffered a knee injury in the Rugby Championship opener against New Zealand in mid-August and hasn’t featured in the five fixtures that have followed.
The 24-year-old is expected to miss around three months of action after having keyhole surgery to repair cartilage but he hasn’t yet been officially ruled out of the back-to-back Tests with France, England, Italy and Wales.
His hopes of featuring in the Wallabies’ final four scheduled games prior to the 2013 Lions appear to be getting slimmer by the day, however, as the man himself admits his long-term interests could be better served by staying at home.
“The very best case scenario would be playing towards the end of the tour, but that's maybe not that realistic,” said Pocock.
"I'm not holding my breath. You always hope that you can get back on the field and play but whether that's realistic, I'm not sure.
"I've got stuck in Canberra the past month or so and am slowly improving. It's hard to gauge how far I am away from playing. It's all about upping the load now. (The knee) is improving, now it's just about pushing it every week and seeing how it reacts.
“(Staying here) to get fit is definitely part of the thinking – you never want to come back too early. I want to make sure if I do come back and play I'm ready to go.
“We've seen James O'Connor with his hamstring and that's been 20 weeks or so. I want to make sure (the knee) is all right.”
Pocock is currently training with fellow injured first-teamer Stephen Moore as the veteran hooker attempts to bounce back from a hamstring problem.
Moore’s importance to the Wallabies has grown even greater with the news that Saia Fainga’a has become the latest squad member to be struck down with injury after he broke his hand in training.