Bristol Bears No8 Nathan Hughes has revealed he has undergone surgery following his premature end to his 2019/20 season. The 29-year-old missed Bristol’s European Challenge Cup victory over Toulon last Friday after sustaining a rib injury in the Gallagher Premiership semi-final loss to his former club Wasps the week before. 

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That turned out to be the climax of Bristol’s season and he has now shared a photo of himself in a hospital bed, saying that his surgery is complete to solve a long-standing knee issue. His return date will be reviewed on a week-by-week basis.

Hughes, like many of his teammates, will be celebrating the end of the season after it was confirmed on Wednesday that the Bears will not be needed to replace Wasps in the Premiership final on Saturday against Exeter Chiefs. 

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Dylan Hartley and Simon Zebo review the Champions Cup final

The 20-cap England No8 will now set his sights on next season, where Bristol will hope to improve on their third-place finish in the league and will be embarking on a new campaign in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Bristol will not have long to wait for the new season either, which is due to start in less than a month. Hughes enjoyed a standout first season at Ashton Gate, topping the league for defenders beaten, with 77. 

Hughes will be pivotal to the progression of Bristol next year as they are a squad tipped to challenge for the title. After making a spree of summer signings, such as Semi Radradra and Kyle Sinckler, the new players will be further bedded into the squad ahead of the new campaign.

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