Vickery out for season and a doubt for tour of New Zealand

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The Independent Online

Phil Vickery, the England captain, is unlikely to play again this season after suffering a knee injury during Wasps' Premiership victory over Sale Sharks on Tuesday night.

Vickery also looks set to miss England's two Test summer tour of New Zealand. They face the All Blacks in Auckland on 14 June then in Christchurch seven days later.

Wasps say a full recovery is expected to take eight weeks, which would sideline him until mid-June. Vickery, who led England at last autumn's World Cup and in the recent Six Nations championship, tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. The extent of the injury was revealed by a scan yesterday.

Wasps have four Premiership games remaining: against Saracens, Gloucester, Newcastle and Leeds. Having won their last seven league matches, they are well on course to secure a play-off place in the title race.

Wasps' director of rugby Ian McGeechan said the club had a strong squad, but added: "Losing a player of Phil's calibre and experience is obviously a major blow, especially at this crucial time of the season."

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