Tigers head coach Matt O’Connor says the pec injury suffered by Manu Tuilagi in Sunday’s Aviva Premiership win over Wasps is ‘not overly severe’ and that the club’s medical staff are confident it’s ‘not as serious’ or the same pec injury the centre suffered in the 2013/14 season.
Speaking at the club’s Oval Park Training Ground, O’Connor said, “he has a bit of a pec muscle injury but it’s not overly severe.”
“Our medics certainly think it’s not serious and it’s also not the same pec he injured a couple of seasons ago, which is a real positive,” O’Connor added.
Tuilagi was substituted in the 11th minute of the Round 18 fixture at Welford Road for Mat Tait, the same minute Jonny May was replaced by Nick Malouf after the England winger was concussed following a collision with Wasps Christian Wade.
While May is expected to be available for selection when Tigers travel to Twickenham on April 7 to face Bath, O’Connor says the there is no rush on the assessment for Tuilagi given the weekend off before the next fixture.
“Jonny got a bang on the head and it’s a straightforward H.I.A return to play protocol … he will continue on as per usual and, barring any hiccup through the protocols, he should be right for Bath.” said O’Connor.
“We need to wait and see what Manu’s scan says and what the specialist’s opinion on it is.”
“But, without a game this week, we can be quite patient with that and there’s no rush as the longer you wait, the better clarity you get from a scan perspective. “We are quite optimistic.”
When quizzed on how Tuilagi was coping with another setback, after being clearly upset by having to come from the field, O’Connor said the 26-year-old was in a positive place.
“He’s really positive about it,” the Tigers head coach responded.
“He knows how serious the other pec injury was, how sore it was at the time and his thinking is that it’s nothing as serious as that.”