Leicester Tigers hit hard by double whammy
Leicester Tigers have suffered a double injury blow ahead of Saturday's big Aviva Premiership showdown against champions Harlequins.
Skipper Geordan Murphy is out for a month with the knee injury he picked up against Saracens at Wembley last Saturday.
He will now be facing a race against time to be fit for the start of the club's Heineken Cup campaign against Toulouse in mid-October.
New signing Miles Benjamin is likely to miss the rest of the year with a neck injury he sustained in A League game away at Northampton a fortnight ago.
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The former Worcester man was making his debut for the club during the game at Franklin's Gardens after recovering from a pre-season toe operation.
"Geordan has a bruised knee and will be (out for) three or four weeks," said Cockerill.
"That's disappointing for him but that is the game we play. We just have to get on with it.
"Unfortunately, Miles suffered a pretty nasty injury to his neck against Northampton in the A League two weeks ago which has resulted in a spinal injury.
"He will be potentially out for the three to four months.
"The injuries are disappointing and you don't want them, but that will give opportunities for someone else to come into the side and perform.
"The season will be about the squad, and the club has always been about the squad and the sum of the parts rather than the individual.
"Yet again, that will be tested earlier than we would have liked."
The timing of the injuries, with champions Harlequins arriving at Welford Road on Saturday, is hardly helpful to Cockerill.
Leicester are already missing key figures like Tom Croft, Ben Youngs and Louis Deacon to long-term injury, but Cockerill said he is confident in the depth at the club.
"We have Niall Morris and Adam Thompstone fit, and there's also Matt Smith and Dan Bowden, so we have some good options around in the backs," he said.
"Croft and Youngs are doing very well with their recovery, and Louis Deacon is close to resuming full training. Mat Tait and Ed Slater will hopefully be fit for next week, and there is an A League game on the Monday which they could play in."