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Exeter's verdict on how Jack Nowell is coping mentally 12 weeks into his latest long injury layoff

By Liam Heagney

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Exeter and England winger Jack Nowell is reportedly coping far better mentally with his latest lengthy injury layoff compared to previous long stints on the sidelines. So explained Rob Baxter, Nowell’s coach at the double-winning Chiefs. Nowell was sent for surgery after playing through the pain barrier in the October showpiece finals versus Racing and Wasps,  a toe ligament injury needing repair.  

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Nearly twelve weeks on from Nowell’s last appearance, Baxter is expecting his winger to be back in action in no more than seven weeks’ time, adding that his player is doing far better mentally with this layoff due to the certainty of his comeback date unlike with some previous injuries.  

“He seems to be pretty sparky,” reported Baxter. “This one is slightly different from some of the others in that there is probably a definite (end) point there for him. He knew when the operation was happening, knew potentially when his return would be. 

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“He is a very, very good rehabber. I understand what Jack says about it can be long processes and a long time spent on your own etc, long days of hard work. It can be tough but he is also a very professional rehabber and he always returns very well.

“If anything his most influential rugby is often when he does return from those difficult periods of being injured. We are very hopeful he will come back and be an important influence very quickly. If it is managed well on his return, it shouldn’t be an injury that produces any long-term issues.

“If you think the fact he played in two finals with it just completely strapped up and the ligament not being there and now they have had a total repair, he will be good. Also, as with previous injuries, it drops in that extended time where he can work on the other little things that are there.

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“They continue to need working on and monitoring around his knees, his ankles, his balance and stuff. We’re fully expecting him to come back and fly for us.” Going on the rehab timeframe recently voiced by Exeter, Nowell is now currently about four to seven weeks away from playing.   

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Exeter's verdict on how Jack Nowell is coping mentally 12 weeks into his latest long injury layoff

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