Wasps have issued an injury update that has confirmed Joe Launchbury won’t be back into action until 2022 following his first-half injury during last Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership win over Bath. Lions squad contender Launchbury took a blow to his left knee before half-time in Wasps’ 39-29 win over Bath at the Ricoh Arena and was seen on crutches at the end.

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Coach Lee Blackett feared the worst for his club skipper in the aftermath, telling the Coventry Telegraph: “I’m gutted. It just doesn’t look like a short-term injury.

“It was a gut-wrenching moment. You are sitting up there and you have just got to recompose everyone because of how much Joe means to everyone but it does not look good.

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“I hope I am wrong. He is Wasps through and through. His leadership through the week, you have to see it to believe it. He has got this great aura about him and the ability to see any situation. There are not many people with the special leadership qualities he has.”

Two days on from Launchbury sustaining the injury, Wasps have now given an update on their stricken 30-year-old who missed the recent Guinness Six Nations campaign with England with a different injury.

“Joe Launchbury sustained a complete rupture of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Sunday’s game against Bath,” read the Wasps statement on Tuesday. “He has had a consultation with a knee specialist, who has confirmed that he will require surgery. Everyone at Wasps wishes Joe all the best for a speedy recovery.”

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Launchbury was set to be involved for the Six Nations but he dropped out in January a few days after the original 28-man squad was announced by Eddie Jones due to a stress fracture to his fibula. He returned for Wasps’ March 19 win at Newcastle but now faces a far longer spell out of the game with a way more serious injury.

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