Young lock James King is targeting a place in the Welsh U20 squad at this summer's IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina after recovering from a knee injury ahead of schedule.
19-year old King suffered a dislocated left patella and ruptured soft tissue playing for Wales during the U20 Six Nations in February, and had originally feared for his place in the squad for the tournament in June.
However, after working closely with the Ospreys medical team, and in particular with physio Daloni Lucas, King has responded well to treatment and will this week step up his training to include full contact work, leaving him well placed for selection for the warm-up game against England at Cross Keys RFC on Thursday 13th May (KO 6,30pm).
North Walian King, who made his Ospreys debut in the Magners League draw against Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium in October with his first start coming a fortnight later, said:
"I didn't think it was a serious injury when I first did it, but after speaking to the physio I realised that I was going to be out for a while. I wanted to make the squad for the World Championship so I knew I faced a difficult time and plenty of hard work, so I'm just happy to be where I am now in terms of my rehab. The talk was about three months, so to be at this position ahead of schedule is great news for me.
"It's been a tough two months, but it's been about having a positive attitude. Daloni made it clear that I had plenty of time, and she has been working hard with me to get me back into action ahead of schedule, making sure I stayed focussed. This week is going to be a big one for me when I start taking contact. The target has always been the World Championship, but if I can make the England game, if selected, that will be a bonus. Whatever happens this week, however it goes, there is still over a month to go until the World Championship itself so there's plenty of time to make sure that I'm up to full speed."
The IRB Junior World Championship gets underway on 5th June. Wales begin their campaign against Samoa, before facing Fiji and then New Zealand in their final pool match.
Ospreys medical updates are sponsored by Vale Healthcare