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Corbisiero plays down injury scare

England prop Alex Corbisiero insists concerns over his long-term future are misguided after stressing his latest knee injury is unrelated to the condition that troubled him last season.

Corbisiero has all but ruled himself out of Saturday's opening QBE International against Australia at Twickenham after twisting his left knee while on club duty for Northampton just over two weeks ago.

However, the 25-year-old loosehead expects to return in time to face Argentina on November 9.

Corbisiero missed last season's RBS Six Nations with a problem that affected the same joint on his right leg and was described as having "degenerative knee issues" by Brian Smith, the director of rugby at his former club London Irish.

But he returned in time for England's June tour to Argentina and then starred for the British and Irish Lions against Australia after being called up from South America.

When his left knee was damaged in the 19-13 Heineken Cup defeat at Castres it was suggested an ongoing issue had resurfaced, but Corbisiero insists it was merely a routine knock.

"This latest problem is just bad luck really - it's on my other knee that I haven't had any issues on for a long time," he told Press Association Sport.

"There has been a lot dragged up about the past. I had an issue last year with my right knee but have worked very hard to come back from that.

"Rugby is a contact game and sometimes injuries happen. I got it caught in contact in the Castres game during a carry and twisted it. It reacted and swelled a bit.

"It was scanned and there was nothing serious, but we're progressing cautiously to ensure there are no further issues.

"This is unrelated to the problem I had last year and hopefully it should be cleared up soon. It's just unfortunate that it's the same area of the body as before."

Corbisiero is disappointed to miss out against Australia after playing two Tests during the Lions' triumphant summer tour.

In the decisive final match in Sydney the Saints front row was outstanding, scoring a try and being hailed man of the match by head coach Warren Gatland.

"I think the Australia game has come to soon, but I'm hopeful that I should be available to play a part in the second two. I'm pretty confident that I will be available for Argentina," he said.

"It's always disappointing to miss a game for your country, but especially with it being Australia after what happened with the Lions.

"It would have been nice to put in another good performance with the boys, it's just part of the game."

:: As Proud Partner of England Rugby, BMW is offering fans the chance to win a lift home from the QBE Autumn Internationals in a BMW Sweet Chariot. For more information visit rfu.com/BMWSweetchariots.

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