Clean bill of health for Wales
September 12, 2011
Stephen Jones looks set to return against Samoa © Getty Images
Wales look to have survived any further injury scares in the wake of their heartbreaking defeat to the Springboks.
And in a further boost, prop Gethin Jenkins and fly-half Stephen Jones remain on course to be available for next Sunday's critical Pool D encounter against Samoa in Hamilton. That would leave calf muscle injury victim Ryan Jones as Wales' only unavailable player, although the medical team hope to have him back in time for an October 2 appointment with Fiji.
"We have done our injury assessment from yesterday, and the initial findings are we've got no major concerns for next weekend at all, which is great news," said Prav Mathema, the Welsh Rugby Union's national medical performance manager. "I think in a competition you have to expect injuries. It's kind of a game of attrition.
"Certainly, we were expecting to have a few more bumps and bruises than we've had from yesterday, and we have been fortunate on the strength of our assessments so far." Jenkins has not played since January, while Jones took no part in Wales' World Cup warm-up schedule last month. Both players have had calf problems.
"Gethin and Stephen we are looking to integrate them both back into training this week," added Mathema. "And if they can come through a pretty high-intensity week leading up to the Samoa game, then we can let the coaches have them for selection.
"Ryan took a part in full training (last week), and unfortunately he had a slight reaction which we are not willing to really push and risk and have him out for a long period of time. We took him back and reintegrated him into treatment and rehab. We are looking at the Fiji game for him.
"Time is very tight being in a tournament, but we are still earmarking that match and we are hopeful he will be ready."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column