Wasps hooker Tommy Taylor is set to return to action before the end of the season.
An ankle injury suffered in the 26th minute of last week’s victory over Bath at The Rec saw Taylor replaced by Gabriel Oghre – who himself was forced off 12 minutes later with a head injury.
While Oghre has recovered to start against Leicester Tigers tonight at the Ricoh Arena, Taylor is absent from the squad having also missed Saturday’s victory over Saracens.
Taylor, by some distance, has been Wasps’ first-choice hooker this term with 13 Premiership starts, Tom Cruse, who is among the replacements tonight, has five starts and six substitute appearances while Oghre has arrived from the bench on nine occasions and started once – but as an openside flanker against Worcester Warriors.
Head coach Lee Blackett gave this update on the once-capped England hooker.
“Tommy’s coming across alright,” he said. “I don’t think he’ll be a million miles away. He’s obviously not available for the Tigers game, probably not available for the next one [Bristol Bears] but we’re hoping potentially for Harlequins.
“So it’s not an absolute disaster by all means, he seems alright so we’re pushing for that time so we’ll see come that Harlequins game whether he’ll be available for selection on that game.”
Taylor missed the majority of the 2017/18 season after suffering an ACL rupture while on England duty in the summer of 2017. He hit the ground running in the 2018/19 campaign with a try in round one against Worcester Warriors but suffered a head injury against Bristol Bears in November 2018 Premiership Cup match.
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Concussion issues meant he wouldn’t play for a further 12 weeks and five of his seven appearances before the end of the campaign came from the bench. It was enough, however, to impress England head coach Eddie Jones, who called Taylor and teammate Josh Bassett up for the Quilter Cup match against the Barbarians at Twickenham.
Taylor arrived as a 62nd minute substitute while Bassett played the full 80 minutes and scored a try in England’s 51-43 victory over a Barbarians team that featured future Wasps teammate, Malakai Fekitoa.