Manu Tuilagi once again succumbed to injury in last weekend's game between his club Leicester and Bath.
The game against Bath on Saturday was his first competitive game since January, and his latest injury setback extends his terrible run of injuries to over four years.
In these four years, he has started just 23 matches for Leicester, with his last England start coming in June 2014.
Tuilagi suffered a torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee on Saturday. He has undergone surgery, and according to his club, will be back in action in three months.
Former England star and World Cup winner Matt Dawson has expressed his concerns over Manu Tuilagi's fitness.
"It worries me because there does seem to be a bit of a theme developing with Manu, He is so big and strong and his game involves changing direction and putting loads of pressure through his knees and making big tackles. It’s not as if he can choke his game down a little bit,” Dawson said, per The Mirror.
Dawson believes Tuilagi has to protect himself better, but conceded that might not possible in today's game, particularly for such a physical player.
He added: “When I was playing and had to have shoulder operations I decided I would no longer compete for balls in rucks. You can’t play the game like that nowadays.
"It’s a little bit too early to say we’ve seen the best of him. But it’s getting close.”
Tuilagi's coach at Leicester, Matt O'Connor, insists the latest setback isn't related to the problem he suffered last year and blames the centre's bad fortune.
"An innocuous bump, a freak incident. This is not the knee that Manu injured last season and this is not a major injury in the context of what kept him out for the first half of this year, he’s just been very unlucky with this one.”
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