INJURED England prop Alex Corbisiero could yet play his part in the autumn Test series despite fears his international year is over, insists coach Stuart Lancaster.
The 25-year-old suffered a recurrence of a long-standing knee injury during a Heineken Cup outing for Northampton last week, triggering concerns he would miss the visits of Australia, Argentina and New Zealand next month.
But Corbisiero has been named in England’s 34-man squad and Lancaster remains confident of having the forward available.
“He’s not out of the series by any stretch of the imagination,” said Lancaster. “Everyone is optimistically hoping he will come through and be available for some if not all the games.
“We’re still quite a way away from the Australia game. We’ll give him plenty of time but we’ll do what’s right for Alex.”
Corbisiero has won 18 caps and emerged as a key part of England’s front-row in recent years.
And Lancaster has promised to work hand-in-hand with club side Northampton to ensure he is fit for the World Cup in 2015 and beyond.
“Long term it’s obviously something he’s struggling with,” added Lancaster. “But we’re optimistic with good management we’ll see him through beyond 2015.”