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Mulipola leads casualties back into Tigers squad

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Richard Cockerill expects to welcome back more of Leicester Tigers' long-term injured players in coming weeks.The Leicester Tigers director of rugby revealed that prop Logovi’i Mulipola will be included in the matchday 23 at Harlequins this weekend for the first time since suffering an Achilles injury in mid-September.   And Tom Croft, having recovered from a knee problem suffered in the opening month of the season, is also available again after taking a knock in the match at Northampton a couple of weeks ago. He makes his 100th Premiership appearance as he lines up in the back row at Quins on Saturday.   Manu Tuilagi, meanwhile, continues to make progress in his comeback from a groin injury which has restricted the international centre to just four appearances so far this season.   “We’ve had a lot of key, senior players missing at various times during this season, but we’ve started to get guys back and to have options within the squad,” said Cockerill.   “It’s obviously good to have more of the guys available so we can rotate and rest within the squad as well. Recently we’ve had Tom Youngs, Geoff Parling and Dan Cole back from long breaks and a few more are getting there too.   “Manu is getting closer, Christian Loamanu and Niall Morris are getting back and Brad Thorn is not far away. Matt Smith is fit again after a hand injury and we’ve had Seremaia Bai back on the field in the last couple of weeks. It all helps.”   Cockerill also confirmed the extent of the foot injury that has ruled out Dan Cole since the Christmas victory at Sale Sharks.   “Coley sprained his foot against Sale,” he said. “It’s just bruising really and a bit strained on the top of the foot.”