Duncan Jones returns to action following a six-month injury lay-off this weekend, after being named in the Ospreys 22 to face Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium. It will be the prop's first outing since the EDF Energy Cup win over Worcester...
DUNCAN GLAD TO BE BACK IN ACTION
Duncan Jones returns to action following a six-month injury lay-off this weekend, after being named in the Ospreys 22 to face Edinburgh at the Liberty Stadium.
It will be the prop's first outing since the EDF Energy Cup win over Worcester at the end of October, shortly before he was forced to undergo surgery to fix a chronic stress fracture in his right foot, an injury that forced him to miss the autumn internationals and Six Nations with Wales, as well as a large chunk of the Ospreys campaign.
Having initially feared that he may not play again until next season, Jones is understandably looking forward to pulling on an Ospreys shirt again on Saturday. He said:
"Obviously it's a relief to be back in the 22 and to be involved on a match day. I'm the same as most players I think, in that I'm not really that good at watching games. I would much rather be out there playing and it can be tough when you are out injured to watch the boys week in week out, so I'm glad that now I can focus on playing again.
"When I had the op I was initially told to expect to be out until next season, so clearly I'm pleased to be back ahead of schedule and I want to get some game time under my belt over the next few weeks. The coaches and the medical team have done a great job while I've been out, it's not just about treating the injury but about keeping me involved, setting me targets and helping me get there step by step. When it was clear that the foot was healing ahead of schedule, they readjusted my goals and we worked towards getting me back into an Ospreys shirt before the end of April and we've managed to do it.
"Most of my time while I've been out has been spent working with the long term injuries, Nikki Walker, Ian Evans and Ben Lewis, along with Chris Towers the Physio, and we've kept each other going, we've been a pretty close knit bunch. I've been involved on a match day over the last few weeks to help me integrate well with the squad as I've stepped up my training. I've been doing a lot of helping out, water carrying duties, whatever I could do to help, but it's not the same as playing and I'm just raring to get back onto the pitch."
Ospreys Elite Performance Director Andrew Hore paid tribute to Jones' positive attitude, which he says has helped him return ahead of schedule. He said:
"While he has been out injured, Duncan has been absolutely outstanding to have around the camp, his positive attitude has been exceptional. For players who are on the long term injured list it can be an extremely frustrating time, but Duncan has kept that group going and his constant positivity has rubbed off on everybody around him. His attitude has been outstanding; he's taken on extra responsibilities amongst the squad and never let his spirits or those of his teammates drop, all while tackling each new challenge on the way to his comeback with a refreshing and constantly positive attitude. He is an example of how a positive attitude can help somebody return to action ahead of schedule and we will all be delighted to see him on the field again."