Owen Farrell set for surgery just two weeks before Ireland game
England could be without their captain and vice-captain for the 2019 Guinness Six Nations opener.
Wrist or thumb injury? Saracens could not get that message clear but, they stressed, Farrell should be fit for the start of the Six Nations.
Just over an hour before their Champions Cup clash with Glasgow Warriors, Sarries announced a late withdrawal that must have sent tremors around English rugby.
Owen Farrell was ruled out of the game and, the two-time champs initially claimed, it was due to a wrist injury.
Team news | Owen Farrell (wrist) is out of today’s match with Glasgow.
Alex Goode will start at 10, Liam Williams at 15, David Strettle on the wing and Matt Gallagher on to the bench. pic.twitter.com/zeNOknniZg
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) January 19, 2019
Sarries director of rugby Mark McCall told the BBC that the 27-year-old was being sent for 'a minor procedure on his thumb' this afternoon.
McCall added that the recovery period for this procedure is 7 to 10 days but the Guinness Six Nations opener with Ireland is just two weeks away. With Dylan Hartley out of the squad for that games, Farrell was expected to lead England at the Aviva Stadium on February 2.
Farrell is still expected to travel to Portugal for England's training camp next week. It is likely that he will have to sit out most of the contact sessions, all the way up to the Thursday before England's opener.
Should Farrell not recover in time from the procedure on his thumb, his place at 10 may go to Leicester Tigers' George Ford.