Harlequins winger David Strettle will have a screw inserted into the fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot in London tonight. It is anticipated that he will return to playing action in 12 weeks time, so will therefore miss the forthcoming World Cup in France.
"I was doing some open running with the ball in hand and I took a side step. I just heard a crunch," said Strettle. "I suspected something was broken but it wasn't confirmed until I had it x-rayed. The specialist I saw last night has told me that I won't be playing again for 12 weeks, which is obviously a massive disappointment."
"I felt that, subject to selection, I was getting closer to something that everyone dreams of doing and that is playing in a Rugby World Cup."
"I will have the screw inserted in my foot tonight and I'll then be in a cast for four to five weeks before the rehab starts."
"I'll be working closely with the Harlequins medical team and I know that the England medics will be staying in close touch. All I want to do now is hope that the operation goes well and then start to get myself fit to play for Harlequins again as soon as I can."
England Head Coach Brian Ashton said: "On behalf of the squad I feel desperately sorry for David as, like many others, I am sure he would have made a huge contribution to our 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign."
"The England medical team will be in regular contact with their counterparts at Harlequins and I look forward to seeing David playing again in the not too distant future."
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.