Brown out of series

PA Sport
Mike Brown has suffered a thumb injury
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Mike Brown has suffered a thumb injury

England full-back Mike Brown will miss the rest of the Test series against South Africa with a thumb injury.

The news is another blow for head coach Stuart Lancaster coming as centre Brad Barritt was ruled out of next weekend's second Test in Johannesburg after an operation to repair a cut eyeball.

Bath's Nick Abendanon has been called up as a replacement for Brown but Barritt, who has not travelled with the squad to the capital after being treated in Durban, could return for the third Test.

Both Barritt and Brown were injured in the second half of England's 22-17 defeat in the first match of the series at Durban's Kings Park.

Brown, who shone on his first international start for four years, suffered thumb ligament damage in attempting to prevent captain Jean de Villiers scoring the Springboks' second try.

The 26-year-old Harlequins back is expected to be out of action for between six and eight weeks.

Saracens three-quarter Barritt was forced out of the game after a collision in the 54th minute.

Lancaster said: "Mike has pulled a ligament in his thumb. We're still waiting for specialist opinion as to whether he needs surgery but the reality is that he's out for six to eight weeks.

"He'll return home later in the week. It's very disappointing for him. He's worked hard for his opportunity and to get his place in the starting XV.

"I've told him to remember the quality of the season he's had and to keep in mind that he's got a lot to be proud of this season."

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