Leicester have confirmed injury-prone Manu Tuilagi is set for another stint on the sidelines – but the Premiership strugglers aren’t quite yet sure how long they will be without their rampaging midfielder.
The 27-year-old, who last month shunned a money-spinning offer from Racing 92, has started Tigers’ last three league matches following his return from Six Nations duty with England.
His appearance in the vital win over Newcastle last Friday was his 17th of the season, his highest rate of availability since the 2012/13 season when he appeared on 21 occasions.
However, Tuilagi limped away from the Kingston Park nail-biter after 71 minutes with an injury that has left coach Geordan Murphy uncertain if he will feature in the remainder of a battle against relegation that has three fixtures to go.
“We haven’t had a conclusive report on his hamstring yet, but Manu definitely did something to it so he will be out for a period of time. We’re just not sure how long that will be,” said Murphy to the Leicester Mercury at the club’s week’s media conference.
“He has had hamstring injuries before so we are hoping we can speed that up and he will feature for us before the end of the season, but he probably won’t be in contention in the next couple of weeks.”
With Tuilagi set for the sidelines, that would mean adjusting the Tigers midfield once again for their April 27 match against Bristol.
According to the Mercury, Murphy added that centre Kyle Eastmond is “touch and go” for the Bristol game as he continues to recover from his own hamstring problem, while there is a possibility of Matt Toomua returning to inside centre if South African full-back Clayton Blommetjies, recently arrived from Scarlets, is available.
“Clayton has been training with us for a couple of weeks but he is ill at the moment. We will see where he is in relation to his illness and fitness.
“But we have that versatility with Matt Toomua. He is a 12 and he has done us a favour the last couple of weeks in playing 15, but he would prefer to play 12.
“He has done a really good job for us at full-back and did particularly well at Newcastle on the fast, hard track and got us out of trouble on quite a few occasions.”
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