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Croft avoids shoulder operation

England flanker Tom Croft does not require surgery on his fractured right shoulder, the Rugby Football Union have confirmed.

Croft visited a specialist who failed to uncover any injury to the joint other that the damage to his scapula.

However, the 25-year-old must wait until later in the month before a timescale for his return can be determined.

An RFU statement read: "Tom will be treated by Leicester's medical team in consultation with the England medics.

"The injury will be scanned again in three weeks time when a further announcement will be made."

Croft sustained the injury in last Saturday's 21-11 defeat by South Africa and spent the night in Charing Cross hospital.

It is hope he will be fit for the start of England's RBS 6 Nations campaign against Wales in Cardiff on February 4.

More immediately, Croft is set to miss Leicester's Aviva Premiership clash with London Irish this weekend and the Tigers' back-to-back Heineken Cup encounters with Perpignan.

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