England prop Dan Cole needs neck operation and will be sidelined for six months
England prop Dan Cole is to undergo a neck operation next week and will be out of action for six months.
Last Updated: 23/05/14 3:54pm
The Leicester star has been out since March after it was decided he needed rest to heal a bulging disc that was trapping a nerve.
It was hoped the spell on the sidelines would correct the problem, but the British and Irish Lions tighthead has now been told he requires an operation entailing six months of rehabilitation.
That rules him out of action until at least after the autumn QBE Internationals when England will take on New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia.
Cole, 27, started the first two matches of the 2014 Six Nations campaign against France and Scotland, but then he had to pull out of the squad.
He experienced weakness in one arm during a gym session at St George's Park and scans revealed the disc problem.
His absence leaves England boss Stuart Lancaster without his first-choice tighthead, and he will be desperate for the Bath giant David Wilson to remain injury free this summer.