Wasps lock Tom Palmer targets return from troublesome calf injury
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC. Last Updated: 07/02/13 5:08am
Tom Palmer: Hoping to return at the end of March
Tom Palmer is determined to put his injury frustrations behind him to make a timely return to the Wasps line-up.
Palmer knows one or two things about injuries - just ask England coach Stuart Lancaster.
It was training ground accident involving Palmer that ended Lancaster's playing career during their time together at Leeds in 2000.
"Yeah there might be some truth in that," Palmer admitted to Sky Sports. "I think he has forgiven me now, though."
Lancaster clearly holds no grudges with the Wasps lock, having included Palmer in his first line-up in charge as well as eight subsequent Test squads since.
However the 33-year-old has been a frustrated spectator of late after he was forced to undergo surgery to correct a troublesome calf injury.
Palmer managed a run of seven games for Wasps - his first games at the club for four years after a spell at Stade Francais - with starts for England against Fiji and Australia following before he was sidelined.
He returned to action in December and played twice but when the injury flared up again it was decided that Palmer would need surgery.
"I've started walking around now so I hope to be back before the end of the season - hopefully for the games at the end of March."
Now with his rehab underway, Palmer has set his sights on helping Wasps maintaining their resurgence.
"Getting injured is unfortunately part of rugby," he said. "I had the operation 12 days or so ago and saw the surgeon on Thursday and he is pleased with the way it has gone.
"I've started walking around now so I hope to be back before the end of the season - hopefully for the games at the end of March.
"I'd been getting bored as initially I just couldn't do anything. But I have started to do more training now."
If all goes to plan, Palmer's potential return could tie in with the club's push towards domestic and European honours.
Having put all their struggles over recent years behind them - they only just avoided relegation last season by the narrowest of margins - Wasps are currently in the top four of the Premiership and in the last-eight of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
And Palmer added: "We want to stay in the top four - no one wants to go back, you only want to go forward.
"We've got some tough games to go, though, with Harlequins, Saracens and Leicester as we are only just halfway through the season.
"It is such a difficult Premiership that it is going to be a real challenge."
Tom Palmer was speaking at a QBE Rugby Pro event with Crowborough RFC on behalf of QBE, Official Business Insurance Partner of Premiership Rugby. For more information, please visit www.QBErugby.com