Prop Genge picked up the issue while training for club side Bristol Bears in December and it was thought the injury may rule him out of the start of the Six Nations – which begins for England away to Italy on Saturday 3 February.
But having worked closely with the Bears medical team, the 28-year-old insists he’s almost back to full fitness and while this weekend’s Champions Cup game against Connacht will come too soon, the Gallagher Premiership clash with Bath on 27 January is a possible target for his return.
Steve Borthwick names his England squad for the Six Nations on Wednesday morning, with Genge expected to be included, and his return will be a huge boost for the coach as he battles a string of injuries and retirements at loosehead prop. The front-rower was expected to be a captaincy candidate after regular skipper Owen Farrell announced he was taking a break from international rugby but his injury issues mean Jamie George looks set to get the nod.
The Bristol v Bath game will be played when the England squad are away at a pre-Six Nations training camp but Borthwick may prefer for Genge to get game-time with his club to prove his match fitness before joining up with the national squad.
Either way, Genge is raring to go and keen to help both England and the Bears, who are languishing down in eighth in the Premiership and face a battle to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions Cup. Luckily, his superhuman healing powers akin to the X-Men character have done the trick.
“I’m all good. They said the hammy has healed, they said ‘miraculous’, like Wolverine,” deadpanned Genge, speaking at the premiere of the Netflix documentary Six Nations: Full Contact.
“They said there is still a little bit of scar tissue that is a little bit immature, so we’ll just tick away at that this week. But I should be fit. I don’t know about the Connacht game but I’ll be ready for Bath.
“The rehab has been long, daunting. It’s tough watching everyone else playing. Obviously when your team is not performing well and you’re one of the bigger players you want to be involved, but unfortunately I’ve been sitting on the sidelines pulling my hair out.”
His return would be a huge boost for England, who are undergoing a crisis at loosehead. Bevan Rodd and Val Rapava-Ruskin have suffered long-term injuries, Mako Vunipola has opted to retire from international rugby and Joe Marler is battling an arm injury with no clear date set for a return, although Harlequins team-mate Danny Care hinted Marler would be fit on the latest episode of the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast.
Beno Obano, who won three England caps back in 2021, is one loosehead prop who has been shining for Bath recent and Genge admits seeing anyone in his position playing well just adds to the motivation.
“Of course,” added Genge when asked if seeing the likes of Obano’s performances has given him extra hunger to get back on the pitch. “Beno has been amazing, hasn’t he, for Bath?
“It gives you fire, whether you like it or not. You’d be lying if you said it doesn’t push you to get back fit and prove to the world what you can do.”