Fale­tau likely to make re­turn

Bath Chronicle - - SPORT -

Taulupe Fale­tau should make his in­jury come­back for Bath Rugby this week­end. The Wales num­ber eight frac­tured his right fore­arm against Ex­eter Chiefs at the Rec at the be­gin­ning of Oc­to­ber. He has been in full-con­tact train­ing for the past cou­ple of weeks at Far­leigh House and is now ready to re­turn to ac­tion. Jonathan Joseph (foot) is also fully train­ing but is not quite ready for his long-awaited come­back. Todd Black­ad­der said: “It’s a boost when play­ers like that come back and bring en­ergy and it’s a boost when they per­form. “For them, I know they’ll want to do that. We’re guided by our strength and con­di­tion­ing team in terms of bring­ing play­ers back but we want them to be im­pa­tient, kick­ing the door down. “This is what they do and they love. A lot of play­ers want to play and get game time un­der their belts.” Tom El­lis is likely to miss three to four weeks with a hy­per-ex­tended el­bow. The in-form flanker was il­le­gally cleared out of a ruck by Michael Fa­tialofa when Bath Rugby lost 21-19 to Worces­ter War­riors at Sixways. Jack­son Wil­li­son has re­cov­ered from con­cus­sion and is fit for se­lec­tion. When the Chronicle spoke to Black­ad­der at Far­leigh House there was no up­dated prog­no­sis given on Sam Un­der­hill, who suf­fered an­kle lig­a­ment dam­age in the home win over Le­ices­ter Tigers on De­cem­ber 30. Last week, Black­ad­der said the Eng­land flanker’s lay-off would be at least four weeks. Black­ad­der said Char­lie Ewels is “com­ing through well” af­ter his head in­jury against Worces­ter. As it is not his first of the sea­son he may have to see a spe­cial­ist and won’t be avail­able for this week­end. Ruar­idh Mc­connochie won’t be in­volved for the Cham­pi­ons Cup dead rub­ber. The ver­sa­tile back missed the de­feat at Worces­ter as a pre­cau­tion af­ter feel­ing a twinge in his left ham­string against Le­ices­ter. He has been de-reg­is­tered for the com­pe­ti­tion, with Aled Brew tak­ing his place in the 41-man squad. Nathan Catt is ex­pected to be rested again as he looks to re­cover from a “stinger” type shoul­der in­jury, but Black­ad­der is con­fi­dent it won’t be a long-term is­sue. Ross Batty, banned for three weeks fol­low­ing his red card against Worces­ter War­riors, has also been de-reg­is­tered for the Cham­pi­ons Cup with Michael van Vu­uren tak­ing his place. An­thony Wat­son is tar­get­ting a mid-fe­bru­ary re­turn from his longterm Achilles in­jury and, as pre­vi­ously re­ported, Matt Gar­vey (bro­ken an­kle) and Beno Obano (knee) are both on the long-term in­jury list.

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