Nikki Walker has said he is hoping to be fully fit for the start of next season after stepping up his recovery from a hamstring injury that has kept him out of action since early December.
WALKER ON ROAD TO RECOVERY
The Scotland wing suffered a partial tear of his hamstring muscle origin on his left leg during the Heineken Cup win over Benetton Treviso at the Liberty Stadium and underwent surgery to reattach it back to the bone. This week, more than four months on, he has been able to start running again, a significant boost in his fight to return to full fitness. He said:
"Obviously I'm happy to be back running. It's been a frustrating few months but it's good to be able to step up my training and start running again. I've had three sessions so far and I'm picking it up gradually, but it's definitely good news as there doesn't seem to have been any reaction. I'm ahead of schedule, but it's obviously too late for this season, so I'll be training right through the summer so that I can be in a good position for pre-season.
"It's the longest lay-off I've ever had to suffer so it was a new experience for me, and it can be difficult to deal with at times. There's been a group of lads with long-term leg injuries though, myself, Ben Lewis, Ian Evans and Duncan Jones have all worked hard together with the medical team and we've been able to keep each others spirits high. I'm not one of those who finds it hard to watch games when I'm out, I enjoy watching rugby so that's been something that has kept me going. I've also tried to make sure I spend as much time as possible with the squad and to stay involved in what has been going on and that certainly helped me.
"Now that I'm back running I'm at the next stage of my rehabilitation and my target now is to be in the right condition to get a good pre-season in. This year has been a write off for me so I want to make up for lost time and really make sure I'm in top condition for the start of next season."