Tag Archives: foot

Abou Diaby ruled out for NINE months with torn anterior cruciate ligament

Diaby ruled out for NINE months after injury-plagued Arsenal midfielder suffers torn anterior cruciate ligament in training

)

Muscle injury (September 7, 2012)

Calf muscle strain (April 28, 2012)

Illness (April 23, 2012)

Hamstring (March 29, 2012)

Hamstring (March 3, 2012)

Hamstring (November 26, 2011)

Ankle/foot injury (July 22, 2011)

Calf muscle strain (January 2, 2011)

Calf muscle strain (December 30, 2010)

Ankle/foot injury (October 19, 2010)

Ankle/foot injury (October 4, 2010)

Ankle/foot injury (September 13, 2010)

Calf muscle strain (August 11, 2010)

Calf muscle strain (March 27, 2010)

Knee ligament (February 17, 2010)

Calf muscle strain (January 20, 2010)

Source: physioroom.com

Paula Radcliffe may never compete again

Radcliffe: Foot injury that ruled me out of London 2012 may stop me from competing ever again

with a foot injury and she has not run since.

End of the road Radcliffe has been out injured for eight months

End of the road Radcliffe has been out injured for eight months

Finish line: Radcliffe may not compete again

Finish line: Radcliffe may not compete again

The Brit was hoping to compete in a 10km race this month but she has ruled out that possibility as she continues to suffer complications from her injury.

'Targets have gone out of the window,' Radcliffe told BBC Sport.

'I'm very much in that limbo where I know and accept that realistically it may not be possible.

'But at the same time I have a little window of hope and I would rather be able to finish my career in a race, rather than a race I can't actually get to the start line of.'

Radcliffe has world marathon champion in 2005 and has won two world cross-country titles.

Burnley 0 Hull City 1 – match report

Burnley 0 Hull City 1: Quinn fires Tigers into second as Bruce ploy pays off

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

22:17 GMT, 11 March 2013

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UPDATED:

01:55 GMT, 12 March 2013

Steve Bruce had good cause for a jubilant two-fisted salute after his double substitution helped lift Hull into second place in the Championship at Turf Moor on Monday night.

In a game where quality was as low as the sub-zero temperature, little had gone right for Hull prior to Bruce sending on Jay Simpson and Robert Koren in an attack-minded change in the 64th minute.

Just two minutes later, Simpson controlled a Koren pass with his back to goal and quickly relayed it to Stephen Quinn, whose unerring left-foot volley flew low past Lee Grant on its way into the net.

Flying high: Quinn celebrates the winning strike

Flying high: Quinn celebrates the winning strike

Upward force: Stephen Quinn hit a rocket against Burnley to send the Tigers into second place

Upward force: Stephen Quinn hit a rocket against Burnley to send the Tigers into second place

Championship table

It was enough to lift Hull above
Watford into second, and a relieved Bruce could afford to smile as he
said: ‘It was a great result that puts us in a great frame of mind for
the weekend, but I think Sky viewers might have been switching over to
the History Channel long before the end.

‘If you lot managed to scribble
anything worthwhile from that, then good luck to you. ‘It was never
going to be pretty on a horrible night, and it was a case of battling
for everything we got. I felt we had to try and win the match with the
substitutions, but I didn’t expect it to happen inside two minutes.

‘This is a crazy league, with nothing
much between top and bottom, but we have given ourselves a wonderful
chance of going up. We’ve got Watford at home in a couple of weeks and
we are really looking forward to the challenge.’

In a first half full of misplaced
passes, Burnley carved out the only semblance of a goal threat when Ross
Wallace went on a purposeful run and let fly with a 25-yard drive that
had keeper David Stockdale stretching to tip over.

Taking a tumble: Charlie Austin collides with Hull's Paul McShane at a snowy Turf Moor

Taking a tumble: Charlie Austin collides with Hull's Paul McShane at a snowy Turf Moor

There were few signs of improvement in
the second half, though Grant was finally extended in the 52nd minute
when George Boyd set up Gedo for an angled drive that was pushed round
the post by the diving Burnley keeper.

Bruce decided it was time for a change
and he can scarcely have made many better judgments as Hull manager as
his two substitutes combined to set up Quinn for the cleanest of
strikes.

Charlie Austin headed narrowly wide in
the last minute of added time to leave Burnley manager Sean Dyche
admitting: ‘It was nearly but not quite, and we are paying the price for
playing with fear.

‘Too many are not playing with the freedom and effervescence you need to affect games.

‘There is an expectation level, but I have told the players they have to deal with that.’

On the ball: Alex Bruce (left) gets a foot in against Burnley's Keith Treacy

On the ball: Alex Bruce (left) gets a foot in against Burnley's Keith Treacy

Gedo handed Grant a more thorough examination in the 53rd minute, drawing a sharp near-post stop after Boyd rode a couple of challenges in midfield to play him through.

In response Dyche sent on Vokes in place of Treacy and the Wales international striker almost made an immediate impact when he looped a glancing header from Charlie Austin's right-wing cross past the far post.

Steve Bruce went one better in the 64th minute with a double change, Koren and Jay Simpson replacing Bruce Jnr and Gedo, that paid instant dividends.

Dejected: Burnley manager Sean Dyche walks off after his side's defeat to Hull

Dejected: Burnley manager Sean Dyche walks off after his side's defeat to Hull

Koren drifted into space on the right and his cross found Simpson, whose calmly rolled pass teed-up Quinn to finish clinically.

Burnley failed to mount a sustained response, Vokes seeing a first-time effort deflected behind by Chester in the 75th minute, and when Austin hesitated in a promising attacking position by turning back and hitting a pass out of play the locals showed their displeasure.

The 26-goal striker has scored his side's only two goals in the past six games and might have levelled late on had he not misjudged a header from Vokes' centre.

Singapore Open: Rory McIlroy clinches European Tour money list

McIlroy nabs European title as Manassero helps him out by beating Oosthuizen

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UPDATED:

12:58 GMT, 11 November 2012

A 30-foot eagle putt on the final green at the Barclays Singapore Open made Rory McIlroy the European Tour's youngest money list winner since Sandy Lyle in 1980.

But it was only when 19-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero also eagled the same hole more than two hours later that McIlroy could crack open the champagne again.

Already with the PGA Tour title in the bag, the 23-year-old world number one emulated the double achieved by Luke Donald last season when Manassero beat South African Louis Oosthuizen with a 12-foot putt at the third play-off hole.

That's the ticket: Rory McIlroy finished third in Singapore

That's the ticket: Rory McIlroy finished third in Singapore

LEADERBOARD

Click here for the final standings

If Oosthuizen had won he could still
have caught McIlroy, but instead Manassero became the first player to
win three times on the circuit before the age of 20. Not even Seve
Ballesteros managed that.

McIlroy, watched during the week by
girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, stormed through to third place with a
closing six-under-par 65.

'I left myself a little bit too much
to do to win, but it was a great way to finish off the round and the
tournament,' said the Northern Irish star, who still has his defence of
the Hong Kong Open and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to come
this next fortnight.

The race would still have been alive
if either Peter Hanson or Oosthuizen had played in Hong Kong or at this
week's South African Open, but they have not entered.

On clinching the money list double McIlroy said: “It really is hugely satisfying to finally become the European number one, especially after finishing second two of the last three years.

Helping hand: Matteo Manassero of Italy with the winners trophy after winning in a three hole playoff with Louis Oosthuizen

Helping hand: Matteo Manassero of Italy with the winners trophy after winning in a three hole playoff with Louis Oosthuizen

Race to Dubai money list standings

1 Rory McIlroy 2,966,985

2 Peter Hanson 2,120,959

3 Justin Rose 2,059,798

4 Louis Oosthuizen 2,044,184

5 Ian Poulter 1,822,644

6 Branden Grace 1,671,036

7 Francesco Molinari 1,630,171

8 Luke Donald 1,475,622

9 Graeme McDowell 1,462,726

10 Paul Lawrie 1,425,216

11 Nicolas Colsaerts 1,363,063,

12 Lee Westwood 1,317,982

13 Matteo Manassero 1,198,873

14 Marcel Siem 1,070,584

15 Thorbjorn Olesen 995,685

16 David Lynn 952,025

17 Rafa Cabrera Bello 939,767

18 Bernd Wiesberger 822,449

19 Jamie Donaldson 815,188

20 Alex Noren 805,292.

'It has always been one of my goals
ever since securing my Tour card five years ago, but then to also end
the year as both European and PGA Tour number one is just amazing.

'I feel so proud and humbled to join so many fabulous names in Europe who have won the Order of Merit.

'To be able to accomplish this goal
with still two events remaining means that I can head to my UBS Hong
Kong Open defence and the DP World Championship Dubai without that added
pressure and just really enjoy my golf.

'Winning a second major championship
(the USPGA in August by eight shots just like his US Open triumph last
season) already made it a fabulous season, but then to follow Luke
Donald in becoming number one in both Europe and the States is the icing
on the cake after a fabulous season.

'I set myself a number of ambitious goals at the start of the year, and to have ticked so many of the boxes feels great.

'A lot of hard work went into this
and I am really proud of what I've achieved in 2012. I would like to
give special thanks to the team around me for all the support they have
given me throughout the year.

'I've still got two events remaining
this year and the goal is still to try and win at least once more before
the end of the year. Beyond that I'm looking forward to a good break
over the winter!

Taking a swing: Oosthuizen of South Africa takes a shot during round three

Taking a swing: Oosthuizen of South Africa takes a shot during round three

'I've got a healthy lead in the world
rankings, but with so many very good players on both sides of the
Atlantic it will not be a time to be resting on my laurels. My goal is
to push on in the new year.

'Monty (Colin Montgomerie) won eight Order of Merits in his prime and I have won one, so there is plenty of ground to make up.

'Also Jack Nicklaus won 18 Majors and
I now have my name on two, so targeting the majors will still be my
main focus next season.'

Manassero, just 17 when he became the
Tour's youngest-ever winner in Spain two years ago, had slipped from
29th in the world to 85th and said: 'This year has been a little tough
for me and I'm glad this came.

'I'm going through a few swing
changes and have picked up length. The driver is the most important
thing – I changed it this week and it gave me a few extra yards.

Strolling: McIlroy walks with Gregory Bourdy of France (right)

Strolling: McIlroy walks with Gregory Bourdy of France (right)

'It's been an extremely long day, but
the adrenalin kept me going and the key, I think, was starting really
well with a few birdies this morning.'

The Verona youngster made four in a
row from the third hole in a third round that resumed at 7.30am and
after posting a 64 for a two-stroke lead he grabbed two more birdies
early in the final round.

They dried up after that, however,
and Oosthuizen caught him with three in a row around the turn, only to
bogey the 12th and 13th.

A chip-in for a two on the 201-yard
next increased the pressure again, however, and Manassero bogeyed the
15th after driving into rough.

When Oosthuizen pitched to a foot on
the last for a 67 he went ahead again, but Manassero's two-putt birdie
gave him a 69 and forced sudden death on 13 under par.

Both birdied the 18th again, then
parred it with Oosthuizen lipping out from under five feet and after
returning to the tee again – they actually played the 542-yard hole five
times during the day – it was Manassero who came up with the decisive
stroke to claim the first prize of over 618,000.

He has earned over 2.5million in his career already – and will not be 20 until next April.

Liverpool 1 Reading 0 – match report

Liverpool 1 Reading 0: Sterling strikes to hand Rodgers first league win at Anfield

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UPDATED:

16:10 GMT, 20 October 2012

Raheem Sterling scored his first Liverpool goal to give manager Brendan Rodgers his maiden home league win against former club Reading.

The England Under 21 international, at 17 years and 317 days old, as a result became the club's second-youngest Premier League goalscorer behind Michael Owen.

His strike should not have been the Reds' sole effort but such are their problems up front this season – prior to kick-off only Sunderland (two) and bottom club QPR (one) had scored fewer at home – win-less Reading remained in the game right up until the final whistle.

Give youth a chance: Raheem Sterling scored his first goal for Liverpool to secure a vital home win

Give youth a chance: Raheem Sterling scored his first goal for Liverpool to secure a vital home win

MATCH FACTS

LIVERPOOL: Jones, Wisdom, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Gerrard, Allen, Sahin (Shelvey 63), Suso (Jose Enrique 74), Suarez, Sterling (Henderson 84). Subs not used: Gulacsi, Jose Enrique, Assaidi, Henderson, Downing, Carragher, Shelvey.

Scorers: Sterling 30

READING: McCarthy, Cummings, Gorkss, Mariappa, Shorey, Kebe, Guthrie (Roberts 81), Leigertwood, Karacan (McCleary 25), McAnuff, Pogrebnyak (Le Fondre 74). Subs not used: Stuart Taylor, Gunter, Pearce, Le Fondre, McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Roberts.

Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire)

Click here for the latest Premier League results, fixtures and table

The first half was virtually one-way
traffic but the hosts lacked a cutting edge, too often over-complicating
matters with one pass too many in and around the penalty area.

Sterling found himself in the best
attacking positions on several occasions but managed to get a shot off
on target just once and Alex McCarthy easily held.

Auxiliary left-back Glen Johnson was
also enjoying a lot of possession in the final third but he looked more
threatening when cutting inside on his right foot.

During an injury break for Jem
Karacan, who was eventually forced off by the effect of Steven Gerrard's
block tackle, Rodgers took the opportunity to pass on some advice to
Sterling.

Whatever he said appeared to have the
desired effect as in the 29th minute the England Under-21 international
finally made the breakthrough.

Red leaves them dead: Sterling outpaced the Reading defence and blasted home with aplomb

Red leaves them dead: Sterling outpaced the Reading defence and blasted home with aplomb

Red leaves them dead: Sterling outpaced the Reading defence and blasted home with aplomb

Suarez's delicate flick-on was seized
by the teenager who raced through the inside-right channel and fired a
shot across McCarthy and into the far corner of the net.

There were two main talking points prior to the game and both duly cropped up.

Firstly, Reading substitute Jason
Roberts carried out his vow not to wear a Kick It Out T-shirt in the
warm-up in protest at his perceived lack of action in combating racism
in football.

While the rest of his team-mates –
and all their Liverpool opponents except goalkeeper Brad Jones – donned
the tops for the pre-match drills the 34-year-old went without, although
Garath McCleary and Karacan removed theirs soon after entering the
field.

Young at heart: Fresh from signing a new deal, Suso produced the goods for Brendan Rodgers

Young at heart: Fresh from signing a new deal, Suso produced the goods for Brendan Rodgers

Second hot topic, which has become a regular theme this season, of the week was whether Suarez dives or not.

The Uruguay international had seen
one challenge by Kaspars Gorkss go unpunished, from which the striker
curled a shot onto the roof of the net, and another given – prompting a
sarcastic standing ovation from Anfield before he drilled the free-kick
into the wall.

Tumble and fall: Luis Suarez was a constant nuisance and there was no sign of his theatrics

Tumble and fall: Luis Suarez was a constant nuisance and there was no sign of his theatrics

Tumble and fall: Luis Suarez was a constant nuisance and there was no sign of his theatrics

But the third instance, just before
half-time, was the most contentious with Suarez going to ground under a
challenge from his Latvian marker close to the byline.

Referee Roger East waved play on and
then was soon waving away protests from a cluster of Liverpool players
as he whistled for the interval.

Suarez, accompanied by the club
doctor, gingerly hobbled off well after both teams had left the pitch
but returned for the second half, which was less than a minute old when
Sterling should have made it 2-0 having turned smartly in the penalty
area but fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Head for heights: Nuri Sahin continued to adapt to life in England and was given a hard time

Head for heights: Nuri Sahin continued to adapt to life in England and was given a hard time

The South American did not appear to
show any ill-effects with only his vision apparently affected as he
opted to shoot at McCarthy when he should have squared to the unmarked
Nuri Sahin.

Liverpool were almost caught by a
swift counter-attack with substitute McCleary forcing an immediate save
from Jones, on his first league start for the club in the absence of the
injured Jose Reina, who also punched away a Jobi McAnuff shot.

Ticking it over: Despite Mikele Leigertwood's efforts, Joe Allen was able to dominate the pace in midfield

Ticking it over: Despite Mikele Leigertwood's efforts, Joe Allen was able to dominate the pace in midfield

The home side redoubled their efforts
as Martin Skrtel flashed a header wide, substitute Jonjo Shelvey,
caught in two minds, miscontrolled Suarez's cross and Gerrard saw a
narrow-angle shot squeeze through McCarthy's fingers but wide of the
post.

Further chances fell to Johnson, Suarez, who missed the target from 10 yards, and Gerrard but needless to say none were created.

Rodgers said he felt his side would 'fly' once they secured their first home win.

They will need to as next weekend
they make the short trip to near-neighbours Everton, who even after this
win are still five points ahead with a match in hand.

Brendan Rodgers says he won"t tolerate another transfer-window disaster in January

Rodgers calling out for January reinforcements and says he won't tolerate another transfer mess

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 13 October 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has made it clear he will not tolerate another transfer-window disaster in January.

Rodgers was left fuming when Charlie Adam, Jay Spearing and Andy Carroll were allowed to leave Anfield in August without replacements being signed.

A broken foot for Fabio Borini has left Luis Suarez as the Liverpool manager’s only fit senior striker, and Rodgers says he is looking forward to being busy in January with Celtic striker Gary Hooper and Theo Walcott, of Arsenal, reported targets.

Looking to spend: Brendan Rodgers is keen to reinforce his squad in January

Looking to spend: Brendan Rodgers is keen to reinforce his squad in January

Rodgers said: ‘There are still areas we want to reinforce — and we have to reinforce as soon as we can.

‘Our best team are comparable to any team in the Premier League. But we’re a very thin squad and we are having to challenge on a lot of fronts.

‘I’ve had good conversations with the owners and they understand where we are at as a team.’

Wiesberger shoots low again to take Masters lead in Portugal

Wiesberger shoots low again to take Masters lead in Portugal

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UPDATED:

17:30 GMT, 13 October 2012

Austrian Bernd Wiesberger shot his
second successive 65 and leads the Portugal Masters by one with a round
to play in Vilamoura.

England's Ross Fisher had been three
clear at halfway, but could not keep the 27-year-old from Vienna at bay
as he continued his search for a third victory of the season.

Even when Fisher, without a win since
his Ryder Cup debut two years ago, had four birdies in five holes
around the turn Wiesberger matched them all to stay one behind.

Leading the pack: Bernd Wiesberger (left) leads Ross Fisher in Portugal

Leading the pack: Bernd Wiesberger (left) leads Ross Fisher in Portugal

He then drew level with an 18-foot putt on the 14th – his sixth birdie in seven holes – and moved in front for the first time when Fisher could not get up and down after missing the final green.

Wiesberger, who stands 13 under par, said: 'After seven holes (all pars) I was not thinking about a 65, but then I played beautifully.

'It could have been a bit lower, but I'm very happy with that.'

On form: Bernd Wiesberger shot a second successive 65

On form: Bernd Wiesberger shot a second successive 65

Fisher, playing on with a strained ligament in his left foot suffered when he slipped coming off the first tee in his second round, said after his 69: 'It's challenging, but it was a lot easier than yesterday.

'It was heavily bandaged and I tried to take the weight off it as much as I could. It's quite bruised, but the swelling is not as bad as I told it might be.

'I'm disappointed to drop a shot on the last. I tried to keep my neck out in front, but there's still a lot of golf to play.'

Joint third on nine under are Irishman Shane Lowry, England's Richard Finch and, in a sudden return to form, New Zealander Michael Campbell.

The 2006 US Open champion has had a wretched time since that memorable week at Pinehurst and is down at 607th in the world.

Campbell has not had a top-10 finish on the European Tour since 2008 and two seasons ago made only one cut in 19 starts.

'It's seven years since my last win and I was surprised I was calm out there, but I've won enough around the world to know what to do and I'm pretty excited about tomorrow,' he said.

'The last three or four years I've put too much pressure on myself to perform. I've gone back to basics and it's fun once again.'

Return to form: New Zealander Michael Campbell

Return to form: New Zealander Michael Campbell

He and playing partner Lowry were both five under for the day before bogeying the last for 67s, while Finch – like Lowry a former Irish Open winner – did not drop a shot in his 66.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, at 48 trying to become the oldest winner in Tour history, finished with a 30-foot birdie putt for a 68 and is joint sixth with England's Mark Foster.

Padraig Harrington also birdied the difficult last, but that was for a 71 as he slipped from fourth to 12th.

Fabio Borini injury could lead to compensation battle between Liverpool and Italy

Liverpool and Italy set for compensation battle over Borini injury

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 12 October 2012

Liverpool could be set for a compensation wrangle with the Italian FA after it emerged Fabio Borini reported for international duty already carrying an injury.

The Italian striker fractured the scaphoid bone in his right foot during a training session with his country's Under-21s on Thursday, an injury which will lead him to be absent for a number of weeks.

Crocked: Borini has broken a bone in his foot

Crocked: Borini has broken a bone in his foot

But the Italians discovered when they sent him for x-rays that he already had a crack in his ankle from a problem he sustained against Manchester United last month.

Borini's injury leaves Luis Suarez as Liverpool's only fit striker.

Ross Fisher plays through pain barrier to claim halfway lead in Portugal

Fisher plays through pain barrier to claim halfway lead in Portugal

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UPDATED:

18:30 GMT, 12 October 2012

England's Ross Fisher overcame an injury scare to move a step closer to his fifth European Tour title.

The 31-year-old slipped walking off the first tee when he resumed the Portugal Masters and feared for a while he might have to withdraw.

Ross Fisher

Tough day: Ross Fisher overcame injury scare to claim lead at halfway

But after a physio was called for and strapping applied to his left foot, Fisher battled on and thanks in large part to a 22-foot eagle putt on the long 17th added a 67 to his opening 65.

'I didn't think anything of it at first and for two or three holes it was okay, but then it started to get really sore,' he said.

'The physio told me I was not doing any damage by playing on. It was uncomfortable for a while, I was feeling it again at the end and I'm just very relieved to get through.

'To be leading is very, very pleasing. It was really difficult to get through the ball and it made it quite challenging to pick the right club.

On a roll: Stephen Gallacher has enjoyed two solid rounds

On a roll: Stephen Gallacher has enjoyed two solid rounds

'My balance was not very good, but I tried to grind it out and fortunately I came through with a decent score.'

On 10 under par at halfway Fisher leads by three from Scot Stephen Gallacher and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

Gallacher, yet to have a bogey, is seeking only his second victory in nearly 400 Tour events, but Wiesberger has already had two this season.

Fisher last tasted success at the Irish Open two years ago, a victory which helped to secure him a Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor.

Since partnering Padraig Harrington to two wins against the Americans, however, he has managed only one top five finish and finds himself down at 140th in the world.

More to follow

Tom Wood aiming for England comeback

Wood sets sights on England comeback… via archery, rifle assembly and shed building

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 21 September 2012

There are various ways for a player to deal with the spectre of long-term injury and the fear that a burgeoning career is in jeopardy. Tom Wood built a shed — on stilts. He took up archery. And he learned about assembling and using rifles.

These were necessary outlets for his concerns and confusion. The injury to his left foot which struck at the start of this year was meant to require a quick fix; just a few weeks of rest, with the aid of a protective boot.

That was before it became apparent the extent of his condition — stemming from the separation of two tiny sesamoid bones behind a big toe — was ‘almost unheard of’.

Poised: Tom Wood is aiming to make his England comeback

Poised: Tom Wood is aiming to make his England comeback

Tom Wood

So the Northampton flanker missed England’s defence of the Six Nations title under new head coach Stuart Lancaster, having played a key role in the 2011 success.

He returned too soon and a freak incident led to a broken toe to compound the problems, before he ripped the arch of his foot in the LV= Cup final defeat against Leicester.

All the indications were that Wood had been the leading contender for the England captaincy before he was forced out of action. Instead, Chris Robshaw seized the role in fine style, while the 25-year-old Saint faced up to months of inactivity and angst.

‘It was a worrying time,’ he said. ‘I was wondering if I would ever run properly again. I genuinely thought that when I was told I’d have to go in a boot and miss a few weeks of rugby, that I would soon come back and be part of a new regime under Stuart Lancaster.

'I didn’t think for a minute that not only would I miss the whole Six Nations, I’d miss play-offs for Northampton and the England tour, too.

Lesson: Wood shows Chris Foy the ropes and picks arrows out of the target (below)

Lesson: Wood shows Chris Foy the ropes and picks arrows out of the target (below)

Target practice

‘When I found out, I got angry at everyone. At the medics for not knowing more, for not understanding it better. I wanted clarity and nobody could provide it. It was no-one’s fault, but it was my career that was in jeopardy and I started looking back, questioning everything.

‘I’m my own worst enemy in a way — I was putting my hand up and saying, “I’m OK to play”.’

Wood is a driven character. He needed a way of filling the void where rugby should have been, so he turned his attentions to ‘a few projects’.

‘I’ll show you how my frustration came out,’ he said, before revealing a picture on his phone of a shed on stilts in his garden.

‘It’s a two-metre-high shed with two-and-a-half-metre stilts holding it up. It’s for hunting, I use it as a “hide”. It was a week of angry sawing and hammering, breaking wood, making a mess.

‘I built that not long after I’d found out I wouldn’t be playing rugby for months. I went into a dark place on my own, I wallowed and got angry at everything, then I took it out on some wood!’

Constructive: Wood built his own shed while recovering

Constructive: Wood built his own shed while recovering

The fondness for hunting developed in New Zealand years ago, when Wood was furthering his rugby education.

‘I will go deer-stalking and might get the odd muntjac,’ he said. ‘I will skin it and butcher it myself. I take off all the steaks and eat them, take the haunches off and have that in a roast. I take off every scrap of meat then give it to the butcher down the road.’

Wood being Wood, he won’t settle for just pursuing the activity, he is fascinated about the processes behind it. In this case, he became intrigued by the rifles themselves. ‘I’m very interested in the engineering side of ballistics and rifle-building,’ he said.

‘It’s a fairly recent hobby. Steve Thompson (ex-Northampton and England hooker) knew a guy here from UK Gunworks. He lives round the corner and builds rifles from his house.

'I get into the physics behind how it all works. He teaches me how to tune rifles and how ammo works. I while away time reading about what powder burns fastest and things like that.’

Experimental: Wood sometimes spends days playing with his archery kit

Experimental: Wood sometimes spends days playing with his archery kit

Of course, that particular hobby requires suitable locations while Wood needed an activity which could be pursued more easily.

One day, someone showed him a bow and arrow and how to operate it. Instantly hooked, he dashed off to buy one. ‘I spend much of my time firing arrows at targets, modifying arrows, making them shorter, trying different weights, measuring how fast they’re going, all that kind of stuff. I can waste whole days doing that,’ he said.

‘I watched the Olympic archery. I wanted to see how they do things differently. I am always experimenting, to see what works best. I practise at the club. I set up targets on the back pitches behind Franklin’s Gardens.’

Happily, Wood is an active rugby player again, gradually recovering stability in his troublesome foot. He has played all three of Northampton’s opening Aviva Premiership games — three full 80-minute stints — although he is among the replacements for Saturday’s visit of his former club, Worcester. The path back to his personal peak is still before him.

Looking forward: Wood is still getting back to his best

Looking forward: Wood is still getting back to his best

‘I’m not 100 per cent,’ he said. ‘The foot isn’t as strong as the other foot yet, but it’s getting better every week. I’m on the up again, but I’m frustrated because I don’t feel I’m the player I was before getting injured. I’m probably 15-20 per cent off where I can be.’

Asked if he would fancy the job of leading his country one day, he added: ‘It’s not something I’d strive for or get worked up about, but if it ever came my way I’d be very proud and I’d give it a good shot.’

For now, he has the more immediate target of rediscovering his best form to push for an autumn Test recall. ‘I want to be back at my best for Northampton,’ he said. ‘I think that when I am, I will be in contention to be back in the England team — whether it’s at six, seven or eight. I’d play at scrum-half for England if that’s what they wanted!'