Surgery for England winger Chris Ashton

England and Northampton Saints winger Chris Ashton will have surgery on his knee next week after the Heineken Cup final.

The surgery will take place just three months before Martin Johnson’s England squad travel to New Zealand for the World Cup.

The 24-year-old Northampton winger will play his last match of the season this weekend in the Heineken Cup final against Leinster at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

Worryingly for England the winger will go under the knife four days later with the goal of being in prime condition for England’s World Cup warm-up matches in August.

Ashton hopes that the procedure next week on his knee will be routine, but admitted that the full extent of the damage won’t be known until the joint is opened up.

“‘I’ve got to have an operation on my knee next Wednesday,” said Ashton.  “I think it’s just a clean-up job.” he told the Daily Mail.

“Hopefully there’s not too much to it but I don’t think they’ll know exactly what’s needed until they go in there.”

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