'A bit of a crippling blow...': Update issued by Exeter on latest Jack Nowell injury setback
Exeter have sounded hopeful that the season isn’t over for Jack Nowell despite the winger suffering yet another injury setback during last weekend’s Gallagher Premiership win over Worcester, his third comeback game after being on the sidelines since last October.
Having made his long-awaited return on April 17 as a replacement versus Wasps, Nowell was chosen to start on the right wing against leaders Bristol the following weekend.
However, his third appearance was cut short after 52 minutes of the 41-10 win over the Warriors, prompting fears that the 28-year-old – last capped for England at the 2019 World Cup – was finished for a season in which Exeter have a maximum of six matches remaining if they make the June 26 decider.
Exeter boss Rob Baxter has now admitted that there is optimism that Nowell could yet be available for the title run-in, especially as the winger’s mental reaction to his latest setback has been positive.
Asked how the Chiefs were shaping up on the injury front ahead of next Tuesday’s trip to London Irish, Baxter said: “We have got a few bumps and bruises and a few twangs and strains but nothing longish term other than Jack Nowell looks like he is going to be at least a few weeks.
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“He unfortunately sprained his MCL in that awkward tackle the way he fell which was a bit of a crippling blow for him because he had only just got back fit and was looking very good and sharp. He had really taken his time in his rehab to get 100 per cent right so that is a disappointment for him and for us but hopefully this won’t be the end of his season and we will see him before the end.
“Anyone who was watching (last Saturday) would have seen him come off and he was pretty distraught straight after the game but he is a real positive character and he is one of these guys who looks at the positives as soon as he can. I’d a couple of chats with him this week, one on the phone and then a couple of chats in-person,” continued Baxter about a player he had touted some weeks ago as a credible Lions candidate.
“All he is focused on now is getting himself fit and available if possible for late-season games. He is brilliant like that and he comes through those situations really well in the past so we are going to give him every opportunity to have some more input in our season.”
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