Jonny May is bidding to be fit for England’s crunch game against Wales in Round 3 after he was ruled out of their first two Guinness Six Nations matches with a knee injury.
The winger has been dealing with the problem for a month and was sent to see a specialist after struggling to recover.
He withdrew from Eddie Jones’ 36-man England squad on Monday and has been ruled out of the Calcutta Cup game in Scotland next Saturday and the Round 2 trip to Rome the following week.
The extent of the injury is unknown but May’s Gloucester head coach, George Skivington, is hopeful the 31-year-old will still play a part in the Championship, with the February 26 fixture against Wales the earliest he could return.
“If he can be back involved in the Six Nations then great. It’s unfortunate for Jonny because we’d like to see him playing for England,” he said.
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“He’s had a niggle for a little while and it kept him out of one game a few weeks ago. It’s just been chipping away and it got to a point where it wasn’t great, so we decided to get it investigated.
“Once we know exactly what the story is we’ll have a better idea about the injury.
“It would have been one incident a few weeks ago, but he’s been managing his way through it, as generally speaking senior players do, and it just got a little too much.
“The hope is that he will still play in the Six Nations.”
May is not the only key player with fitness concerns on the eve of the Championship.
England will be without captain Owen Farrell for their opening game against Scotland next week because of an ankle issue, while lock Courtney Lawes is unable to train this week due to concussion.
Jones has added veterans George Ford and Elliot Daly to his squad, as well as lock Nick Isiekwe.