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The painful Jonny Gray legacy that forced Henry Slade into surgery

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Dan Mullan/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Recuperating England midfielder Henry Slade has revealed that a legacy injury sustained when tackling Jonny Gray in 2018 was the reason for the shoulder surgery that forced him to miss the recent tour to Australia. The Exeter centre has been a mainstay of Eddie Jones’ national team in recent years but he missed out on last month’s Test series victory over the Wallabies due to an operation to remedy a long-existing problem.

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Keyhole surgery was required to finally repair a posterior labral repair problem that Slade had been suffering from for four years, according to an interview with the seasoned England player published on devonlive.com. “I injured it in 2018,” he revealed.

“I was actually tackling (current Exeter teammate) Jonny Gray when he played for Glasgow – the big lump. It was a long time ago and I have been carrying it for a little while and I just thought this is the best time for me to finally get it sorted.

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“There is never a good time because the layoff period is fairly decent but I thought enough is enough, let’s get this sorted. I’m really excited now to be in my rehab and getting back on track.

“In terms of recovery time, they tell you it takes about 14-16 weeks. I’m in about week seven or eight now (when speaking last week), so just about the halfway mark and now it is getting more interesting because now we are getting into the movement phase and lifting some more weights,” continued Slade, the 29-year-old who has 48 England caps and has his heart set on making the cut for World Cup 2023.

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“I’m midway through the rehab. I’m looking forward to getting back as soon as possible and we will push it as hard as my shoulder allows. I’m hoping to be back in and around the start of the season. We may be a little ambitious to make the first game (against Leicester Tigers on September 10), but that is what I am aiming for, but I certainly hope the first few games to be available.”

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