Toby Flood has been added to Leicester Tigers injury worries with damage to his knee ligaments sustained against Sale over Christmas.
Flood will likely be out for 4-6 weeks and looks set to miss England’s opening Six Nations match against the Scots and potentially their second against Italy too.
Manu Tuilagi and Louis Deacon were already out of their clash with Ulster at the weekend and Flood’s absence added to their worries in their heaviest European defeat ever. Both Tuilagi and Deacon are sidelined with Hamstring injuries with Tuilagi out for around a month and Deacon missing for the remainder of the season.
The way the Tigers have struggled without these three key men will worry their fans with the Six Nations coming up it seems they may have to cope without all three for a large proportion of the remainder of the season. The way the Tigers struggled during the World Cup showed their reliance on internationals and will only worry those at the club further. With that in mind they will feel they really could have done with a healthy Flood in their last two Heineken Cup games and it appears their defeat to Ulster may set the tone for a tough few weeks at Welford Road.
Flood’s injury is though potentially good news for Billy Twelvetrees and Jeremy Staunton. IT would look likely that one of them will get a couple of extra games than they were expecting and a longer time to secure themselves in the starting 15.
The glimmer of hope comes for Leicester in the news that Anthony Allen could return from injury, having been out of action since October.
The Tigers struggled last time they were short of this many key players and with the Six Nations just around the corner it will be interesting to see if they can cope better this time round. Their play off place and their berth in next season’s Heineken Cup are by no means secured just yet and they could both rely on the Tigers coping better with losing players than they have in the past.