By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Sale Sharks prop Andrew Sheridan has been forced to come home early from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand due to injury.
Sheridan, 31, re-injured his left shoulder inEngland’s nervy 13-9 victory over Argentina on Saturday in their opening Pool B game.
The loosehead prop – a Sharks player since 2003 – was replaced just after the hour on Saturday by Saracens counterpart Matt Stevens, who seems most likely to step in for Sunday’s game against Georgia.
This setback is the latest in a career hampered by injuries and bad luck.
England Team Manager and World Cup winner Martin Johnson has sympathy for Sheridan.
He said: “It’s really sad for Sheri. He has been unlucky with injuries and we wish him all the best for his recovery.”
To add insult to injury,Sheridanis unable to rejoin his teammates at the England camp and has had to return home under the RWC 2011 Terms of Participation.
He will now make his way home, leaving Mark Cueto as the sole Shark representing England.
Other Sharks players at the World Cup include Alisdair Dickinson and Richie Vernon (Scotland), Tony Buckley (Ireland), Andrei Ostinov (Russia), Wame Lemaravu (Fiji), Andy Powell (Wales) and Johnny Leota (Samoa).
Sheridan’s problematic shoulder first became injured in a Heineken Cup game against Cardiff Blues in 2009. He has since had reconstructive surgery and operations on his shoulder numerous times.
Injury had previously ruled him out of Sale’s Guinness Premiership winning game against Leicester Tigers in 2006, the club’s sole title victory to date.
He also suffered injuries whilst on international duty that year, picking up ligament damage and suffering a broken ankle in a narrow 23-21 victory overSouth Africa later in the same year, which ruled him out for the rest of the season.