Jones set for Ospreys return
February 9, 2012
Alun Wyn Jones was a key member of Wales' run to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals © Getty Images
Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones is poised to return from a three-month injury lay-off after being recalled to the Ospreys squad ahead of their RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Friday night.
The 26-year-old, who has been sidelined since picking up a toe injury in the build-up to the Ospreys' Heineken Cup clash in Treviso in October, was a key figure in Wales' run to the semi-finals of the recent Rugby World Cup and his return to action is sure to be welcomed by coach Warren Gatland who lost second row Bradley Davies to a seven-week suspension on Wednesday.
Jones, who will start on the bench, cannot wait to return to the front line. "It's been three months, a long time, and I'm champing at the bit to be honest," said Jones. "I've done all the rehab work with the medical and conditioning teams, they've given me the all clear and I need to play now to see if I'm fully fit as it were. I appreciate with longer term injuries you aren't completely out of the woods until a month down the line with minutes under your belt but I need to play now to see where I am.
"Physically it's been good to catch up on a bit of time off that I probably haven't had over the last couple of years, that's helped, and then there's been the extra conditioning work to sort me out. Now it's just time to find out how the lungs are. I've done all the work, now there's only one way to test them out. I'm sure I'll make a few mistakes when I come on as I'm a bit rusty but I'm not fearing those, I just want to get back on the park and play."
The Ospreys coaching team have been reluctant to set any deadlines for his return given the unusual nature of his problem, and Jones himself acknowledges that it's been a bit tough to accept that such a seemingly small problem could keep him out for so long.
"I've had that from a few people" he added. "They say to you 'oh it's only a toe injury'. I don't want any sympathy, it's a part of the game and I suffered a fracture and dislocation of the big toe and when it first happened I didn't think it was going to be too long. But, it is what it is, and I'm back a little bit quicker than expected so there's a little bit of equilibrium there."
Unable to play, Jones has spent time sat in the Liberty Stadium stands over the last three months and he says a positive for him as been being able to just be a fan for a change. "I'll hold my hand up to being a pretty poor patient so I didn't watch too much of the rugby sessions early on, but I've been to all the matches, I've been a regular in the crowd watching the team and being a supporter. I've been over the Riverside after the games with the OSC and really enjoyed being part of everything, I'm just one of them after all.
"I'm grateful to all the fans who've seen me at the games and shown interest in how I am, asked me how I've been getting on, it's really appreciated, but now I'm glad that I can just get back to playing, starting this weekend."
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