Season is over for crocked Leicester Tigers lock Louis Deacon
Leicester Tigers lock-forward Louis Deacon has been ruled out for the rest of the season after having surgery on a shoulder injury.
The 32-year-old picked up the knock during the defeat by Harlequins at the Stoop last month.
Initially, Deacon had hoped for a speedy recovery, but the full extent of the injury showed more damage than first thought and he has been forced to go under the knife.
Director of rugby Richard Cockerill confirmed the news and said Deacon, who is waiting to make his 250th appearance, will be sorely missed during a hard-hitting run-in which sees Tigers battling for silverware on two fronts.
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"Louis unfortunately had surgery on his shoulder on Monday and that will be the end of his season," said Cockerill. "He fell awkwardly at Harlequins and damaged his shoulder again.
"It is disappointing for him and us, but it gives an opportunity to the likes of Ed Slater and Graham Kitchener.
"Steve Mafi can also play in the second row, so we are not short of options in there.
"But a player as good as Deacs will always be missed and the young guys will have to step up, like they have done up to this point."
Deacon missed the start of this season after having an operation on a shoulder problem. It is not thought that the current injury is to the same one.