Leicester Tigers boss Cockerill hopes to have England prop Dan Cole back by November but is willing to wait until January if necessary.
Leicester director of rugby Cockerill hopes to have England prop Dan Cole back by November but is willing to wait until January if necessary.
Cole has not played since February due to a neck problem that ruled him out of England's June tour of New Zealand.
But Cockerill confirmed the tighthead prop is making good progress in his recovery.
“It's coming on well,” Cockerill told the Leicester website
“It's just a waiting game. Because of where the injury is, and like all the other injured players, we have to make sure we give them enough time.
“There is no target, we're hoping October/November but if it is December/January then it's not an issue. We want Coley back for the long term. There are no risks taken there.”
Tigers' build-up towards the new Premiership season will step up on Monday when the last group of players return to training.
Players have been back at training for a few weeks already and, with the internationals due to report in on Monday, the coaching staff will be able to see the whole squad together again for the first time since May.
“At this point we're just trying to get everybody up to speed, bringing in the new guys and letting them get used to us, and getting the group together,” said Cockerill.
“We've had a lot of different start dates for the pre-season with players coming in at different times after tours, injuries and whatever, but by Monday we'll have everyone back and we'll gradually build up towards the pre-season fixtures and then the start of the new season.”
Tom Croft and Tom Youngs also sat out the England tour but Tigers will welcome back Ed Slater, Geoff Parling, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs, while new signing Freddie Burns has already checked in at his new club.