Wilko under knife again

England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson has had a second operation on his latest knee injury.

Wilkinson suffered a dislocation during Newcastle’s Premiership game against Gloucester in October and immediately had surgery. Newcastle rugby director Steve Bates has now revealed a second procedure recently took place.

“As was always the plan, the back-up to the original operation was to have an arthroscopy, which took place in the north-east a couple of weeks ago,” Bates said. “That was to assess whether the initial operation had been a success.

“The surgeon who did that original operation is saying that everything looks okay to proceed on to the next stage of his rehabilitation, which will involve making sure that strengthening, flexibility and all those sorts of issues are dealt with.”

Wilkinson is hoping to be back for England’s Six Nations campaign, but Bates refused to commit to a comeback date.

“That has a timescale all of its own, depending on how he responds, but at least the initial hurdle seems to have been overcome,” he said. “There was always going to be a little doubt about whether the original operation had been a success, as with all operations.

“Now that we are hopefully past that stage, it’s just a case of continually monitoring how he progresses, rather than now giving a timescale of when he will be back playing.”