Wasps hooker Alfie Barbeary faces at least six weeks on the sidelines due to an ankle injury and might need surgery, head coach Lee Blackett said, casting doubt on his availability for the start of England’s Six Nations campaign.
The 20-year-old, who was given his first England call-up ahead of the Autumn Nations Cup final against France, sustained the injury in Sunday’s 26-23 Premiership win at Sale Sharks.
“Alfie has a syndesmosis injury. It’s not the greatest but it’s not an out-and-out disaster,” Blackett said.
The initial estimate is for Barbeary to miss six to eight weeks but that could change depending on whether a specialist thinks he needs an operation.
“If he does, it’ll be longer than that,” he added.
“But, if he doesn’t, then that’s probably around the right point. It’s a guessing game until he sees a specialist on Wednesday.”
Barbeary made his breakthrough last season, scoring a try on his Premiership debut from the bench against Worcester Warriors in August and then scoring a hat-trick on his first start, against Leicester Tigers in September.
England head coach Eddie Jones will name his squad for the 2021 Six Nations next month, with the defending champions set to face Scotland in their opener at Twickenham on Feb. 6.
Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford