Leicester Tigers prop Dan Cole is a doubt for England’s opening Six Nations clash with Wales at the beginning of next month.
Cole returned from neck surgery in November after missing ten months of action last year, but has now been sidelined with a foot injury that could keep him out until the end of January.
The 27-year-old would there have little time to get up to speed before the games with Wales on February 6, just like centre Manu Tuilagi.
“Manu and Coley are probably still end of the month at this point,” Cockerill told reporters.
“They may well be fit for it (Wales v England) but whether they will be match fit I don’t know. We will see.”
Cockerill also backed Tom Youngs to take the England number two shirt after his recent impressive form.
“If there is a better hooker in England after the weekend I don’t know who he is. Tommy has been outstanding for us,” added Cockerill.
“If Rob Webber has any pretensions of playing at Test level in front of Tom Youngs, you saw at the weekend the difference: the ball-carrying, the mentality, the mauling.
“Tom is a different league, for me, to Hartley and to Webber.”