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Tigers lacking bite after Croft injury blow

By Niall Crozier

Leicester Tigers, who are in Ulster's Heineken Cup group, have been dealt a serious blow with England's British and Irish Lions flanker Tom Croft ruled out for the season.

Croft has undergone surgery after suffering a knee injury in the dying minutes of the Aviva Premiership champions' opening day victory over Worcester on Sunday.

The Welford Road men's director of rugby, Richard Cockerill, confirmed 27-year-old Croft had ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament.

"It's horrendous bad luck for Tom because it is only last year that he came back from a very bad neck injury and did so well for England and the Lions as well," he said.

"But these things happen. Tom will make a full recovery, but it's his season over. It is a blow, but we have just got to get on with things."

This is the third time in his career that Croft has been sidelined by a serious knee injury. But he has had moments of good fortune, too.

In 2009, for example, he was the beneficiary when Stephen Ferris suffered a training ground knee injury during that summer's Lions tour of South Africa. The number six jersey ended up going to Ferris' English rival for the role.

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