Wasps flanker Jack Willis has posted the second episode of The Rebuild 2.0, his mini-documentary series charting his recovery from the serious knee injury suffered while playing for England during the Guinness Six Nations in February. In episode one, Willis revealed the full extent of the damage when he was crocodile rolled away from a Twickenham ruck by Italy’s Sebastian Negri.

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“So I have torn my MCL (medial collateral ligament) off the bone at the bottom, torn a bit off the top as well, so I am going to need that fully repaired. Torn both menisci, the medial meniscus from the root one side. Pretty gutted. I could be out for up to a year. Not really sure how I feel about it at the moment.”  

A month further down the recovery track, he has now shed light on when he expects to be back playing and it is a timeframe that is more encouraging than initially thought. “Going into the operation there is a few different options of how it was going to turn out and we knew it was going to be medium to long term and fortunately the operation went really well,” explained England back row Willis in the six-minute segment.  

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“There was still enough to cling on to the PCL that it meant that they could repair it rather than scrape it out and reconstruct it with a hamstring graft. It’s looking like nine to ten months which sounds like a very long time – and it is a long time – but it could have been a year, so I have taken that as a positive immediately and started ticking down the days.”

Wasps head physio Ali James added: “I’m over the moon with his progress. You can see the knee settling down really well and it is great to see he is regaining that full knee extension really quickly. Pain is very well managed, he is in great spirits so we couldn’t be in a better place at the minute.”

The footage in episode two starts with Willis in his post-op hospital bed and then being driven home. It also covers his first return to the Wasps training ground at Broadstreet RFC. “First day back in at Wasps. Not seen most of the boys or staff since I went into England camp, so it will be really nice to see them all. First time in since the op as well… excited to be back in. 

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“It’s always quite nerve-wracking your first day back. You want to catch up with everyone but you’re also a bit distracted by making sure you are not slipping on your knee, you just want to get to the physio bed and get checked in. It’s a weird feeling, especially with how long I have been away. You miss the boys a lot, faces you haven’t seen for a while. There was lots to catch up on. I wasn’t nervous, it was more excitement just to get back cracking and see everyone.”

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