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Welsh Rugby
Roberts targets early injury return
ESPNscrum Staff
December 4, 2010
Wales' Jamie Roberts stretches the New Zealand defence, New Zealand v Wales, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand, June 26, 2010
Jamie Roberts had surgery on his wrist following Wales's summer tour of the southern hemisphere © Getty Images
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Wales and Cardiff centre Jamie Roberts is hoping to return to action before Christmas as he steps up his recovery from a wrist injury.

The 24-year-old has been sidelined for four months but is on course for an earlier than expected comeback, possibly for the Blues against Northampton in the Heineken Cup on Sunday, December 19.

Roberts, who has not played at all this season and missed the Wales autumn internationals, will see a specialist on Monday and could be back in action within two weeks. However the Lions centre will not rush his return if it means putting his long-term fitness at risk.

"I see the surgeon on Monday and I will get his view then," Roberts told the Western Mail. "I am not going to come back and play until it's right and it's important that I do that. I won't rush back and play when there is a whole career ahead of me.

"I have always planned to play by the end of the year and hopefully I will have good news at the start of next week. The wrist is feeling stable now which is important because I played the whole of last season with an unstable wrist.

"That was pretty troublesome, but come Monday, fingers crossed, I will have some good news."

Roberts, capped 24 times by his country, had surgery on the wrist after Wales' tour to New Zealand in the summer. Wales missed Roberts hugely during their disappointing autumn campaign and his early return will be a major boost to Warren Gatland, and should afford him time to find his best form ahead on the Six Nations.

And he believes that his enforced time on the sideline could benefit him in the long run.

"When I knew I had to have surgery, I looked at it as a positive and a chance to clear up any niggles I had," said Roberts. "It gave me a chance to get to being totally fit, but every player will tell you they play with niggles through a season.

"It's such a brutal sport nowadays that everybody is playing with niggles. But it was good just to recharge the batteries to be honest and get that hunger back for playing again."

Roberts is optimistic that he will be involve d for Wales' Six Nations opener against England at the Millennium Stadium on Friday, February 4. But for now the giant centre is setting his sights on a place in the Blues side.

"Everyone wants to play for Wales and the England game is obviously a target," said Roberts. "But my immediate aim is to get my place back in the Blues side.

"Tom Shanklin, Casey Laulala and Dafydd Hewitt are all playing well and that is going to be a challenge in itself to get back into the Blues team. Hopefully, if I can do that and play well for the Blues, I will make a case to be selected by the Wales coaches.

"I just can't wait to get back playing. I've been out for four months now, which is a long time to be watching from the sidelines.

"I want to get back and regain my place in the Blues side and then hopefully for Wales too."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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