Wales engulfed by fresh injury woe
January 14, 2013
Bradley Davies is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damage during a Blues training session © PA Photos
Wales' injury woe:
Wales caretaker boss Rob Howley has been dealt yet more injury woe on the eve of his side's Six Nations campaign.
Howley, who will name his squad tomorrow, is already resigned to being without fly-half Rhys Priestland, lock Luke Charteris and prop Aaron Jarvis due to long-term injuries while centre Ashley Beck, hooker Huw Bennett and lock Alun-Wyn Jones are not expected back in action until the end of next month.
Ospreys' Ian Evans is another already battling to be fit for Wales' Championship opener against Ireland in Cardiff on February 2 while flanker Dan Lydiate also remains on the sidelines having not started his comeback from a serious ankle injury sustained three months ago.
And there was more bad news for the defending champions following the penultimate round of action in this season's Heineken Cup that has left Howley short of second row options with Blues lock Bradley Davies and versatile Ospreys forward Ryan Jones the latest struck down.
Davies was already sitting out the Blues' Heineken Cup trip to Toulon on Saturday as his partner had gone into labour but he is now set for a longer spell on the sidelines after picking up an ankle ligament injury. The Blues have not put a timescale on Davies' recovery but he will undergo surgery on the ankle early next week.
Former Wales captain Ryan Jones - a potential second-row replacement - has now joined them. Jones went to hospital in Swansea last night after suffering a suspected dislocated thumb during the Ospreys' 15-15 Heineken Cup draw against Liberty Stadium visitors Leicester. "Ryan has gone off to hospital," Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy said. "I think he has got a dislocation of his thumb. It may have popped through the skin as well."
Evans has not played since the autumn internationals because of a knee injury and remains some way from a comeback. "Ian probably won't come back next week against Treviso," Tandy added. "I know Wales are decimated, but we will just have to review his situation as we go along."
But Howley's problems are not limited to the second row with Ospreys hooker Richard Hibbard another casualty from the Liberty Stadium clash. "We have been patching him (Hibbard) up since he hurt the same shoulder playing for Wales against Samoa in November, if I am honest," Tandy said.
"The way he goes about his business and turns up every week is just a ridiculous effort from the boy. We just had to take the kid off because he would have done himself harm otherwise."
However, there was some good news for Wales with the return to action of Scarlets hooker Ken Owens and his regional team-mate Scott Williams but the latter was forced off early during their Heineken Cup defeat to Leinster.
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