Centre Manu Tuilagi will miss England’s Six Nations encounter against Wales on Saturday due to a hamstring injury.
After recuperating from a similar injury, the 30-year-old was set to make his Championship debut this year.
He had been named to the starting lineup earlier on Thursday, but he was pulled after undergoing scans following training.
Joe Marchant has been recalled and will join the team for practice on Friday.
Cockerill described Tuilagi’s second setback after he had just returned from an eleven-week absence following a prior hamstring injury suffered against South Africa in November:
“He had a slight hamstring strain at training yesterday [Thursday] so he has left camp and he is at home. It’s not too serious as far as we know and hopefully, he will be back soon.”
“He is in pretty good spirits. like I said, it is not a serious issue and looks it’s, unfortunately, part of professional sport. Manu has still got a smile on his face and he is optimistic he will be back playing for club and country soon.
“On that front, it is pretty positive but obviously it’s a disappointment for him personally and disappointing for the team because he would have been an important member of the squad.”