Dan Cole to miss remainder of Six Nations
February 16, 2014
Dan Cole has a bulging disk in his neck © Getty Images
England prop Dan Cole will miss the remainder of the 2014 Six Nations campaign because of a bulging disc in his neck which is trapping a nerve.
The injury is not uncommon among props but if not treated properly can become the kind of problem which can seriously impact on a career. For this reason Cole has been told to rest indefinitely and may well not play again this season.
The problem came to light during a gym session in camp with England last week when he complained of a weakness in his neck.
"It's massively disappointing for Dan, Leicester and England," Stuart Lancaster said. "The important thing is that this has been diagnosed and that Dan gets the appropriate rest and treatment. Our medics are working closely with Leicester's to come up with a programme that will ensure Dan returns in the best possible shape."
Sale Sharks' Henry Thomas and Bath's David Wilson are contenders to replace the Cole as tighthead prop but Thomas' international action has been limited, while Wilson has only just returned from a calf injury and as a result is unlikely to be ready to face Ireland on Saturday.
Cole has impressed for England since making his debut as a replacement for Wilson in the 30-17 win over Wales during the 2010 Six Nations campaign.
Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: "It's very disappointing for us and for England - and obviously for Dan - but his long-term fitness is more important. He'll have time to get over this issue and come back when the medical teams are satisfied with his progress."
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