The 25-year-old could recover in time to "make a final or two" of Sale Sharks enjoy a strong end to the season

Sale Sharks head coach Alex Sanderson has given a positive update on the Tom Curry hip injury, revealing the England openside is in contention to make a return before the end of the season.

The 25-year-old last played in England’s victory in the third-place play-off match against Argentina at last year’s Rugby World Cup before returning to club duty and discovering he required surgery on a persistent hip problem.

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It was expected to rule him out for the entire domestic season but ahead of the resumption of the Gallagher Premiership, Sanderson said Curry could yet feature if Sale “make a final or two”.

The club sit seventh in the Premiership table but are just four points behind Saracens in fourth, while they also have an impending last-16 Challenge Cup tie.

Curry’s impact can be felt off the pitch as well as on, with Sanderson also detailing how he has been at the heart of a new player’s group within Sale, with the aim to create a culture of accountability.

Asked about Curry’s rehab, Sanderson said: “He was away in the wilderness rehabbing for a few months and we had seen him come and go out and the nature of Tom is all in or he needs that space.

“We ended up having a few days off at the start of the Six Nations and it was a couple of weeks before when I put it to all our injured players, of which there was a room full: ‘How much more could we contribute as a group?’

“Looking around the room and just looking at the experience, the likes of Jonny Hill, Tom Ellis, Bevan Rodd, Ross Harrison, Tom Curry, it was, ‘Can you contribute more, tell me how?’

“He is away in Malta at present with his missus, but he didn’t have any time off. He was in rehabbing and when I came back in, him and Bevan Rodd sat me down and said we have got some ideas about how we can make this environment better.

“We want player meetings, we want a player’s group, we want to be able to provide more feedback, we want to hold ourselves more accountable – and he spearheaded that.

“That coincided with his return to fitness. So he is running now and if he does come back at the end of this season, of which there is a slim possibility, you want a team and a club he has had some influence over and so from being out in the wilderness, I feel like I’m looking over my shoulder.

“He is ready to tell me how I can do the meeting better, how we can run sessions better on the feedback of the players.

“He is very much back in the fold in terms of his contribution. He is bombing around, his hip looks good. His brother [Ben] is back in training as well, which is great. And he has an outside chance; I’d say he might make a final or two if we get there.”

Related: “I don’t know how I’m going to feel” – Farrell refuses to rule out England return

Sale must come through a tough run of fixtures if they are to compete for silverware in the run-in. They take on Bath on Sunday and then face Exeter Chiefs a week later in two crucial Gallagher Premiership clashes before travelling to play Ospreys in the Challenge Cup.

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