Rugby World Cup 2011
Sheridan fears for future
September 14, 2011
England prop Andrew Sheridan might have played his last game of competitive rugby © Getty Images
England's Andrew Sheridan has admitted that there is a chance that he might not play again after seeing his Rugby World Cup brought to a premature end by a shoulder injury.
The Sale Sharks prop played 61 minutes of his country's tournament opener against Argentina and revealed to England medics afterwards that he was experiencing some discomfort in his left shoulder, the same shoulder he dislocated in 2009.
Subsequent scans confirmed that the damage to the joint was severe enough to curtail his involvement in the game's showpiece event and he is now set to return home to establish the full severity of the injury. Given that Sheridan has had two operations on his left shoulder in the past two years, and one on his right, he now fears that his top-level career might be over.
"Of course there are concerns for the future," the most feared scrummager in world rugby said. "If I do need another operation then that will be four in two years on my shoulders. But I'll just have to wait and see what the surgeon says, then make a decision from there.
"I'm not going to make any rash decisions because I've had another setback. But you just have to weigh up all the evidence, then see if you can rehab it all properly and get back.
"It's massively disappointing but I have to go back, speak to the surgeon, speak to the club and make a decision about what to do next. We'll just have to see what needs to be done with it, whether that's another operation or just a period of recovery with a bit of physio."
The injury is bitterly frustrating for Sheridan, who had undergone a gruelling rehabilitation programme following his most recent surgery on his shoulder to get himself in to contention for a place in England's World Cup squad. He made his return to the international arena in last month's win over Ireland in Dublin and did enough to convince team Martin Johnson that he was worth taking to New Zealand. Now, though, after just one further outing, his career is back in jeopardy.
"I've only played two games and now I've had another setback. I'm extremely disappointed," Sheridan said. "I knew that something went wrong during the game. It was sore at half-time. I played on for 20-odd minutes.
"Now I'm going home. I didn't know how bad it was going to be. I knew it was sore, but it was only really a couple of days after that it was stiffening up and giving me a lot of trouble.
"I had the scan on Monday. Once they knew there was a tear there, it was obvious I would have to go home. It's a significant injury."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.