ANDREW SHERIDAN will fly home from New Zealand today fearing for his rugby career after yet another shoulder injury forced him out of England’s World Cup campaign.
Sheridan, who has had three shoulder operations in the last two years, suffered his latest setback in England’s 13-9 win over Argentina.
And he will return to England facing an uncertain future.
Sheridan suffered a severe dislocation to the same left shoulder in 2009 and another operation could be a bridge too far for the 31-year-old.
But the Sale prop forward, who was such a key figure in England’s World Cup plans, will not rush into any decisions.
“Of course there are concerns for the future,” said Sheridan.
“If I do need another operation then that will be four in two years on my shoulders. But I’ll just have to wait and see what the surgeon says, then make a decision from there.
“I’m not going to make any rash decisions because I’ve had another setback. But you just have to weigh up all the evidence, then see if you can rehab it all properly and get back.
“I think everyone knows shoulders are quite complicated structures, so it’s difficult to come back.
“It’s massively disappointing but I have to go back, speak to the surgeon, speak to the club and make a decision about what to do next.
“We’ll just have to see what needs to be done with it; whether that’s another operation or just a period of recovery with a bit of physio.”
Sheridan battled back from surgery on his right arm and shoulder in order to make the World Cup. He had played just one game since March but was still selected by manager Martin Johnson.
That was an indication of how important Sheridan was to the team and he made an impressive return to action in England’s warm-up win against Ireland.
Sheridan then started against the Pumas but he knew something was not right by half-time.
Two days later, Sheridan was still struggling and he was driven from Queenstown to Dunedin for a scan, with the images sent back to the UK for analysis by his surgeon.
“I’ve only played two games and now I’ve had another setback. I’m extremely disappointed,” said Sheridan.
“I knew that something went wrong during the game. It was sore at half-time. I played on for 20-odd minutes. Now I’m going home.
“I had the scan on Monday. Once they knew there was a tear there, it was obvious I would have to go home. It’s a significant injury.”
YESTERDAY’S RESULTS: Samoa 49 Namibia 12, Scotland 15 Georgia 6, Tonga 20 Canada 25
FIXTURES - TODAY: Russia v USA (Pool C) 8.30am
TOMORROW: New Zealand v Japan (Pool A) 9am