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Premiership Rugby

Wilkinson shoulder fracture confirmed

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The 24-year-old began to feel discomfort during a weights session earlier this week, and – after a precautionary X-Ray on Thursday – a further scan on Saturday enabled doctors to pinpoint the injury.

But the injury is not considered too serious and the England fly-half, whose last-minute drop goal won the Rugby World Cup, is expected to back in action in the next two to three weeks.

Wilkinson's club has been quick to stress that the injury was not the result of the player's recent car accident.

It is more likely that the fly-half has been carrying the injury since the Rugby World Cup Final, a game in which he received treatment to his shoulder area after making a tackle on Australian inside Elton Flatley.

Wilkinson has already been ruled out of his club's Parker Pen Challenge Cup game against Valladolid on Sunday and England's celebration match against the New Zealand Barbarians next week – but fears that he could be sidelined until well into the new year have now been allayed by Falcons' boss Rob Andrew.

"Our medical team do not believe this is a serious problem," said Andrew. "The fracture is stable and healing and we fully expect Jonny to be playing in the next two to three weeks."

Wilkinson should be back in action long before England's Six Nations Championship opener against Italy on February 15.

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