English Rugby
Sheridan shuns mega payout to play on
ESPNscrum Staff
October 25, 2011
England's Andrew Sheridan squares up in training, England training session, Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Surrey, England, August 25, 2011
Andrew Sheridan is optimistic he will play again © Getty Images

England prop Andrew Sheridan has rejected a substantial insurance payout in a bid to battle back from a career-threatening injury.

The 31-year-old underwent a fourth operatioin in less than two years after he suffered a torn ligament in his left shoulder during England's Rugby World Cup Pool clash with Argentina last month.

The successioin of injuries prompted speculation that his career was over. But Sheridan is determined to prolong his rugby career with Sale Sharks and has consequently turned down a lucrative insurance payout, which he would have been entitled to had injury brought a premature end to his career.

"Obviously the insurance is pretty good but that's not what I'm about. Getting back and playing is what it's about," Sheridan, who has yet to rule out a return to the international game, told the Manchester Evening News. "I really enjoy it here. Talking to Steve I think he's keen that initially I just get myself fit but I've been here eight years and I'd like to get some more games in for Sale.

"Looking long term, I can't decide anything yet as a lot depends on my fitness and how I recover but I'd like to stay here going forward. It's not really about the money. As a rugby player you just want to be out there playing. Once you've stopped playing, it is over. I haven't played as much as I would have liked to in the past two years.

"So I just want to get back fit and put together a good sequence of games for the club."

Sheridan admitted he initially feared his career could be over following the injury but he is now confident that he could return to the game within the next six months, with a best case scenario target of four months.

"With it being the fourth shoulder injury in less than two years, retirement was something I had to think seriously about," he said. "It was wrongly reported in some quarters that initially I thought 'This Is it, I'm going to knock it on the head'.

"I obviously thought at the time that retirement was an option simply because of the facts. But once I got back to Manchester and saw my surgeon, Professor Len Funk, he was very confident that there was no reason why I couldn't get back and carry on playing rugby.

"It's not a cast-iron certainty but he thought there was no reason why, with the Latarjet procedure I've had on my left shoulder and a decent period of rehab, it couldn't be as strong as it possibly could be. Mentally, I'm pretty positive but I'm also realistic. I am getting a little bit older now but I'm certainly going to give it everything to come back and try to play some games for Sale.

"The recovery after such an operation is anything between three and six months but it would be nice for it to be about four months. I think that's a realistic time frame and I am aiming for the back end of January and the start of February as a return date. And if I manage that there would be a good sequence of games here at Sale that I could be considered for."

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