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Cipriani poised for early return

The Wasps flyhalf Danny Cipriani has set his sights on an England return after making a speedy recovery from a career-threatening ankle injury.

LONDON // The Wasps flyhalf Danny Cipriani has set his sights on an England return after making a speedy recovery from a career-threatening ankle injury. The 20-year-old hopes to return for Wasps against Bath next week, less than five months after surgery to repair a fractured and dislocated right ankle suffered in sickening fashion against the same opponents. Cipriani, who made a stunning full debut for England against Ireland in March when he scored 18 points, was expected to be out for at least six months but is ready to return after an intensive rehabilitation regime with Wasps physio Prav Mathema.

"I just want to make sure I get back for Wasps and I'm playing well and whatever comes from it comes from it," Cipriani, who is viewed as England's natural successor to Jonny Wilkinson, told the club's official website. "Hopefully I will get that chance to play for England again but whether it be now or in February I don't know, but I hope I come back and make an impression for Wasps and I can try and be a positive influence on the side."

"I have never been one to take rugby for granted and I have always been grateful for the things you can achieve in sport but this really has hit home and shown me how much you miss it and how much you care about it when you can't be a part of it." Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan said he believed Cipriani would return an even better player. "The speed of Dan's recovery is a true testament to the hard work of not only Dan but Prav and his team," he said.

"Dan has worked extremely hard and he will probably be as quick if not quicker and stronger than he ever was." *Reuters

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