Wasps prop Phil Vickery believes 'common sense' dictates he should not go on tour with England to Australia.
Vickery looked backed to his rampaging best with his first 80 minutes since October in the 18-15 Challenge Cup defeat to the Cardiff Blues which was followed by an hour against Newcastle in Wasps final Premiership game of the season.
And although the 35-year-old is always willing to answer his country’s call, Vickery believes having just a couple of hours of rugby under his belt since his fourth major operation of his career is scant preparation for the rigours of a full-blown tour.
“Obviously as a proud Englishman, I want to play for my country but the reality is that I have missed most of the season," said Vickery.
“Cardiff was my first full 80 minutes since October. Common sense should prevail and we need to do what’s best for me, my club and my country and I am looking at starting next season after a good pre-season.
“Others guys have come in and given themselves the opportunity like Dave Wilson and Dan Cole.
“We have not yet had discussions about it but I am sure everyone involved will be sensible about it.”
There can be few players other than Jonny Wilkinson whose career has been written off because of injury as many times as Vickery only for him to prove his doubters wrong time and time again.
His three back operations in 2006, 2004 and 2003 were all described as ‘career threatening’ and he has also endured shoulder surgery, a broken arm that ruled him out of the 2005 Lions tour and a shattered cheekbone.
The latest neck injury was potentially the most serious of the four major operations surgeon Richard Nelson has undertaken after a scrum against Racing Metro collapsed awkwardly.
And Vickery admitted surviving 80 minutes against the Blues’ Gethin Jenkins, arguably the best loosehead in the northern hemisphere, was sweet vindication for his six months on the sidelines.
He said: “It was a really physical game as far as a front-five player is concerned and Gethin is a player I have a huge amount of respect for.
“It was a very tough test for me personally so to come through it gives me a huge amount of confidence.
“It was a strange feeling because I was pleased for myself but that was tempered by the disappointment of losing in a semi-final.
“There’s always doubt when you come back from injury and anything involving your neck makes it all the more concening for a front-row player.
“There’s apprehension but it makes it sweeter when you come through those dark periods which I could have not done without the support from everyone at Wasps.”