World Cup boost for Moody
Race against time before team announcement
Last Updated: 09/08/11 6:09pm
Moody: Suffered mild strain of medial ligament
England captain Lewis Moody received a World Cup boost with news his injury is only a mild strain of the medial ligament in his right knee.
He underwent a scan on the injury on Monday and the Rugby Football Union are "optimistic" over his progress ahead of England's World Cup squad announcement on August 22.
The Bath flanker sustained the injury when Tom Palmer fell on his leg at a lineout, 61 minutes into England's 23-19 World Cup warm-up victory over Wales last Saturday.
He was making his international return after missing the Six Nations, having damaged the same knee playing for Bath in January.
"Is it realistic he will be on the plane (to the World Cup)? It is too early to say with that injury. It is a mild strain, not a bad strain, which gives us hope."
Graham Rowntree Quotes of the week
England face two more World Cup warm-up fixtures - against Wales this weekend and then Ireland - before their opening World Cup match against Argentina on September 10 in Dunedin.
Despite the positive news, England's scrum coach Graham Rowntree said: "Is it realistic he will be on the plane (to the World Cup)? It is too early to say with that injury.
"It is a mild strain, not a bad strain, which gives us hope. We will see how he develops over the next few days. He hurt his knee in January. On Saturday night he was optimistic he would get better.
"We have to see how he will go with the medics. We will take it week by week. We don't have to do any more than that."
Moody will not feature against Wales on Saturday, nor will prop Andrew Sheridan who continues his recovery from a shoulder operation.
Rowntree confirmed there was no definitive selection policy on whether England will travel to New Zealand with players carrying injuries.
But Moody's leadership is a key factor in the England squad. "We will give him the time he needs," added Rowntree. "He is vital for us going forward. He has led from the front, led with energy and the guys respect him for that. He is doing a great job."