Josh Lewsey, Olly Morgan, Perry Freshwater and James Forrester’s availability for England’s Test match against New Zealand is in doubt.
The world champions meet the All Blacks at Twickenham on Sunday and with coach Andy Robinson due to announce his match day 22 later today the quartet are battling against the clock.
Lewsey, who was last week declared fit to play following a knee injury, has his knee in a brace after suffering suspected medial ligament damage in Wasps’ defeat by Perpignan in the European Cup. Morgan has suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury while Freshwater (leg) and Forrester (knee) failed fitness tests and were forced to miss the weekend’s European Cup fixtures.
Freshwater however remained optimistic about his chances of playing.
“It was bad bruising in the bone which turned into a shin-splint. It is being treated as a soft tissue injury,” he told the BBC. “I really wanted to play against Wasps, but it was just a couple of days too early. I am up and running, I just can’t push fully in the scrum at the moment.”
Gloucester number eight Forrester will see a specialist today while Lewsey will have a scan to determine the extent of the damage.
“I will have to wait and see what the scan says, but I am being as positive as possible,” said Lewsey. It was a twist, it was one of those things you can’t predict, and the pain wouldn’t go away when I was trying to run at top end.
“My gut feeling is that it is not as bad as it looks, but we will just have to wait and see. I might be training by next Tuesday or Wednesday, I just don’t know.”
Of the four, Lewsey will be the most vital loss to England should he be forced to miss Sunday’s Test. The Wasps utility back has a prolific international try scoring record, having crossed the line 21 times in 13 Tests.