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Pre-season injury update

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Jordan Crane, Niall Morris and Owen Williams are targeting a return to action with Leicester Tigers in time for the early stages of the new season.Tom Croft has come through two appearances in the Kings of the North fixtures after missing the end of 2014/15 with a shoulder problem, and hopes are high that Crane, Morris and Williams will be back in action soon too.   Assessing the squad after three of six fixtures in the run-up to the Aviva Premiership opener at London Irish on October 18, director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “We had Owen Williams on the pitch with the squad as a water-carrier last weekend and he’s doing well in his rehab from a knee injury. He’s probably going to miss the first couple of weeks of the season but by early November we’re hoping to see him back playing, which will be great for us.   “Jordan Crane has had some minor surgery on a knee problem that wouldn’t settle, but we’re hoping to have him for the start of the new season, and Niall is coming on well after an ankle injury.”   Ed Slater has not played since returning from England’s training squad ahead of the World Cup but is recovering from minor surgery on a knee.   “He’s doing well,” said Cockerill. “Once he is fit and going, we want Ed for the long term, especially in such a tough season.”   Manu Tuilagi is progressing in his return from a long-term groin injury, though Cockerill says there is no timescale yet on his return to action.   Miles Benjamin is sidelined after surgery on a knee problem, while Dom Barrow is recovering from a knee ligament injury suffered with previous club Newcastle Falcons. Logovi’i Mulipola is also on the way back to full fitness after a knee injury.   International wing Gonzalo Camacho is expected to be available for the fixture against Loughborough University on Saturday, October 3 after suffering a slight quad strain in the match against Argentina earlier this month.   “It’s not unusual to have that type of injury when you’ve not played much rugby for a long time,” added Cockerill. “It’s just a little niggle, he’s still doing a lot of training and we’re hoping to see him against Loughborough Students and against Sale before the season starts.”   With three more fixtures to come before the season opener at London Irish, Cockerill added: “We’ll keep building steadily and we know we’ve still got some quality to come back into the squad with those guys working their way back to fitness and the guys coming back at various stages from the World Cup.   “As always, injuries and the international call-ups provide openings for others to step up and it’s up to those young guys to learn their lessons and make the most of their opportunities. We’ve seen that over the years. Sebastian de Chaves, Fraser Balmain and George Catchpole were among those who did that last season and they’re looking to kick on again.”