Leicester Tigers have been handed a boost following news that Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi look set to make returns to fitness ahead of their end of season run-in.
Tigers' England pairing of centre Manu Tuilagi and scrum-half Ben Youngs look set to return for the Premiership side ahead of their end of season run-in.
Tuilagi strained his pectoral muscle during Leicester's victory over Wasps during round 18 of the Premiership while Youngs picked up a knee ligament injury during England's Six Nations trip to Italy.
Youngs' return comes as a pleasant surprise for both Tigers and England fans, with the 74-times-capped halfback initially set to miss the remainder of the season. The 28-year-old has been back up and running for over a week and looks to be recovering well ahead of schedule.
“It should be a couple of weeks rather than months,” Tigers Director of Rugby Matt O’Connor said. “That’s hugely positive. He is running around and is probably going to be into some team training late end of this week or early next week.”
Youngs is currently on track to return for Tigers’ midlands derby against Northampton next weekend. His return will also boost England's ambitions ahead of their tour to South Africa this summer, where Eddie Jones' side will face the Springbok in a three-test series.
Samoan-born centre Tuilagi had been enjoying his longest run of fitness for nearly five years so far this season but will recover from the relatively minor pectoral strain before the end of the month. The England internationals current return date is pencilled in for their Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons on April 27th.
O'Connor believes Tuilagi was nearing his best form prior to his most recent injury, “He has missed a lot of rugby and is under a hell of a lot of scrutiny,” O’Connor said. “From that perspective, he needs a bit of space to get back to his best. Eddie understands that this is the best environment for him at the moment and he needs to see him playing well consistently before he throws him into the Test mix.
“The attributes he has and the impact he has on games, you can understand why there is so much hope around him. Everyone is itching to see him back to his best and playing well in a Leicester shirt and ultimately an England shirt.”
England winger Jonny May has also handed Leicester a fitness boost this week, having been cleared to play against Bath this weekend following a concussion against Wasps.