Ben Youngs expects to be fully involved in England’s Word Cup training camp after revealing he was left with no option but to undergo shoulder surgery.
Youngs was hurt in the climax to the Guinness Six Nations against Scotland and on April 6 it was announced he had undergone a procedure to repair the damage that would require three months of rehabilitation.
It was an alarming development as Eddie Jones invested heavily in Youngs as his first choice scrum-half to the point that there is no clear hierarchy in the position beneath him.
But having completed the operation, the 29-year-old should be available for the four warm-up Tests that precede Japan 2019.
“At the time I felt it but thought it was OK and it would settle. I then had it scanned, went and saw the specialist, and he said ‘you just can’t play’,” Youngs told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
“I saw him at 12.30 and was being operated on at two o’clock so it all happened pretty quickly. You never want to miss games but it happened and I didn’t really have a choice in it. But it should be 12 weeks and a pretty simple recovery time provided there are no hiccups.”
Leaving with having to watch Leicester’s relegation battle from the sidelines, Youngs was cheered by the influence of out-half George Ford when Tigers crucially beat Newcastle 27-22 last Friday to go eight points clear of Falcons, who are bottom of the Premiership.
“I dare say without him, I don’t know where we would be,” continued Youngs. “He’s a world-class player and he’s showing that to everyone.”
"Without him, I don't know where we would be."
Leicester Tigers would be much deeper in relegation trouble were it not for the "phenomenal" George Ford, says team-mate Ben Youngs.
— BBC Rugby Union (@bbcrugbyunion) April 16, 2019
Defeat at Kingston Park would have left the Tigers on the verge of relegation to the Championship, but two tries from Guy Thompson and 12 points from Ford coupled with a valiant late defensive effort secured a priceless win.
“I just think he’s been unbelievable the last few weeks. His game control at the weekend was just phenomenal,” he added.
“He has continued to grab the bull by the horns and steer the ship. Given the adversity, to play like he has, is credit to him.
“But we still have three games to go and the Premiership has been just crazy. Until we are guaranteed safety, I will still be watching very nervously.”
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