Sheridan, who played in the 2007 World Cup final and toured with the British and Irish Lions two years later, has a long-standing issue in the neck/shoulder area and suffered a fresh setback during Toulon's Top 14 match against Perpignan last month.

Now Laporte has revealed that the 34-year-old former Sale player has been ordered to rest for four weeks, after which doctors will assess whether he can return or have to retire.

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"He has always had a problem between his neck and his shoulder," Laporte told French radio station RMC.

"The surgeon has told him it's not necessary to have a new operation.

"He will now have a month of complete rest and, if the pain does not go away, he will have to stop playing."

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