England flanker Willis won't rush return from injury

London (AFP) –


England flanker Jack Willis has said he is "not fixated on timelines" while he continues his recovery from a major knee injury.

The 24-year-old Wasps back-row's career came to a shuddering halt just over seven months ago when, after scoring a try on his Six Nations debut against Italy at Twickenham, he suffered a ligament and meniscus injuries that required surgery.

"It is always a bumpy road being injured and a pretty frustrating one, to say the least, but I've had a pretty good few months building the knee strength up," Willis told Britain's Press Association.

"There have been a few bumps in the road that always cause a little bit of a delay, but at the end of the day it all gets swallowed up. As long as the knee is right, that is the priority.

"It is not so much getting fixated on timelines. The priority has got to be is the knee ready to go? It is about the longevity and long-term health of the knee."

Willis, the Rugby Players' Association players' player and Premiership player of the season last year, also ruptured a knee ligament in 2018 playing for Wasps, ending his South Africa tour hopes with England.

He returned to win three Test caps before suffering his Twickenham injury but is determined to return to action.

"When I am back, as long as I get the knee right, then hopefully I have got another 10 years ahead of me," he said. "For me, it is very much a case of when I will be back.

"It is a bit of a rollercoaster, but the end goal is being back out on that rugby pitch with my family cheering me on and playing alongside my brother (Tom) again in a Wasps shirt. Hopefully, it won't be too long."