Injured Wallaby James O’Connor making good progress

Wallaby James O’Connor’s recovery from a knee injury is going better than expected.

Star flyhalf James O’Connor’s quicker-than-expected recovery from a knee injury looms as good news for both the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies.

O’Connor was staring at six weeks on the sidelines when he suffered lateral collateral ligament damage in the Reds’ 36-32 Super Rugby Pacific win over the Melbourne Rebels on April 15.

However, despite his knee still being in a brace, O’Connor said on Friday he was “ahead of schedule” in his recovery.

“It’s all coming on nicely,” O’Connor said.

“(I) jumped out of the brace (on Thursday) to do some tracking and drilling.

“I don’t want to speak too early but possibly we’re ahead of schedule.”

O’Connor said he would “love” to be available for Queensland’s clash against the Blues in Auckland on May 14.

“Otherwise (against) Moana (Pasifika) the week after,” he said.

The more games O’Connor plays the better for the Reds in their quest for a Super Rugby Pacific title, as well as the Wallabies, who want their playmaker as sharp as possible for Australia’s three-match home series against England in July.

The Wallabies are desperate for success against the Eddie Jones-coached English outfit.

The last time England was in Australia, in 2016, they won the series 3-0.

They also beat the Wallabies 32-15 at Twickenham last November to record an eighth straight win over the Australians.

“On last year’s Spring Tour they did a job on us so we want to rectify that – I think we’re at a place now where we can do the job,” said O’Connor, who added that playing the second Test of the series at Suncorp Stadium was a huge bonus the Australians, who are on a 10-match unbeaten run at the famous Brisbane venue.

“When we come together with the Wallabies, this is definitely our favourite stadium to play at – this is a fortress for Australian rugby.

“The air’s a bit fresher in Queensland.”

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