England back-rower Sam Burgess is unlikely to feature again before the World Cup semi-finals after suffering a medial knee ligament injury in Friday’s 18-4 defeat by Australia.
Burgess, 28, went off with the injury in the first half and later reappeared on the sidelines in a leg brace.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs forward is expected to miss “three to four weeks”.
“We’re fine with Sam, he’ll play a big part in this tournament,” assistant coach Denis Betts told BBC Sport.
“We’ve got good medical people, so we’re hopeful we can get him back for the semi-finals.
“He wanted to be strapped up and get back on, but this is a tournament. We’re looking to get him back for the back end of the tournament.”
Squad resilience pleases Bennett
Burgess’ injury was an untimely end to his second World Cup tilt with England, four years after his starring role in the route to the semi-finals.
His return from an ill-fated stint in rugby union did not bring about the same success in last season’s Four Nations but he was a key figure before his exit after a tackle from Matt Gillett.
England battled on despite the loss of their talisman putting in a second-half performance that pleased head coach Wayne Bennett.
“Sam’s done a medial by the look of it, that’s three to four weeks,” Bennett said.
“We’ve a quality footy team here. Sam’s always going to be a loss to any team. But we managed for 60 minutes without him tonight and we didn’t seem to lose a lot of momentum.”
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