CHRISTIAN Wade needs to make significant progress in the coming week to ten days if he hopes to play again this season.
The Wasps wing is hoping to get back on the field in time to go on England’s tour to New Zealand, but he insists he won’t rushing himself.
He said: “We’re just taking it week by week. Everything is determined by how the foot feels. If that means I get a couple of games this season then great, but if it means I’m waiting for the start of pre-season...
“You just have to go with how the foot feels. You don’t want to rush injuries like this.”
Wade damaged ligaments playing London Irish in December. He was given a six-month recovery period and he’s right on course.
He said: “I’ve just started running again.
“I had the screw out about two months ago and then I started to walk again, strengthening the calves and the ligaments in my feet.
“I did some running in the pool and I’m now progressing to the G trainer, so I’m running on a sort of treadmill in a big air bubble.
“It takes a bit of the weight off but you’re getting the feel of the ground under your feet again.
“Next week I should start to run outside again so it’s looking good.
“This has been my longest injury. The one before this was four months out and I found that quite hard, but I think that experience helped me this time.
“It’s just a mindset. You know what to expect and what you’re going to be doing. You’re ready for what’s coming.
“Having been there before, I knew what I was in store for and that’s helped me.”
And in the long term, Wade might actually be thankful for this enforced break.
While the timing looks bad, on the eve of a significant international breakthrough, the injury came after 18 months of almost unbroken rugby and Wade admits he probably needed a break.
His 13 tries in his first full Premiership season earned him a place on England’s summer tour, and after making his debut against Argentina he was whisked across the Indian Ocean to join up with The Lions in Australia.
He had a few weeks off on his return but then it was straight back into pre-season training.
He said: “I think the injury came at a time when my body probably needed a rest after a long season and a long summer.
“It was probably a good time to take a rest and get my body right again. But at the time it was starting to get cold so I was alright.
“Now it’s starting to brighten up I think I’m about ready to go and play again now.”
However, director of rugby Dai Young has poured cold water on the prospects of Wade returning to action again this season.
Wade hasn’t played since December and wasn’t due to return from an ankle injury until May.
Young said: “He’s nowhere near playing at the minute and we’ve only got a month left. He’s working hard to get back and you can never rule it out, but my understanding is it’s well exceeding a month.
“There’s no problems, he’s just running out of time with the season coming to a close and unless things kick on in the next week or two, it’s very unlikely he’ll have any part in any game this season, very unlikely.
“Things would have to change drastically in the next week to ten days.”
* BRITA sponsors the London Wasps Community Foundation, providing children with the opportunity to learn core rugby skills and understand the importance of hydration in sport. The Wasps Community Foundation hosts a children's tag rugby cup this Saturday. The final of the cup will be played at Twickenham during half time of the Stinger game.