'Lazarus' Daly says recovery no miracle

Julian GUYER
England's Elliot Daly attends a team training session at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, west of London on March 16, 2017

England's Elliot Daly has insisted there is a perfectly rational explanation for a quicker than expected return from injury that has seen him nicknamed 'Lazarus' by his team-mates.

The British and Irish Lions back, was expected to miss both of England's opening two November internationals, against Argentina and Australia, with knee ligament damage suffered while on European club duty with Wasps just under two weeks ago.

On that basis, even expecting Daly to feature in England's final match of 2017, against Samoa at Twickenham on November 25, appeared a long shot.

But Daly, however, will start on the wing against the Pumas at Twickenham on Saturday.

England centre Jonathan Joseph said this had led to Daly being labelled 'Lazarus' by his team-mates in honour of the New Testament figure said to have been raised from the dead by Jesus.

Daly though said his return to fitness was anything but miraculous, telling reporters at England's team hotel on Thursday: "It wasn't a misdiagnosis. It is just sometimes with the MCL ligament if your knee is stable you are able to do more. It is a kind of, 'Do it, if it hurts, stop it' type of injury.

"Technically there is probably a bit of a tear in the MCL but I think it is very, very minor but it feels really good, back to normal and ready to go," added Daly, who featured in all three Tests of the Lions' 1-1 series draw with with world champions New Zealand earlier this year.

"I had a couple of days off and then came into the club and then realised that my knee probably wasn't as bad as we first thought and started doing some stuff on it and it felt really good and it ticked all the boxes.

"I got into (England) camp this week and it has gone really well. I've trained fully all week and feel really good," he explained

Last year's corresponding match saw Daly suffer the embarrassment of a red card at Twickenham just four minutes in after taking out Leonardo Senatore in mid-air.

Despite being down a man for most of that Test, England still beat the Pumas 27-14 and Daly said: "It wasn’t the best for me. It’ll be nice to get 80 minutes against Argentina this Saturday.

"It was one of things that happened, everyone's been great with me around that period and I’m just looking to play well this weekend and help the boys."