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'Still a way off': No sign of Polledri return after 12 months out

By Chris Jones

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Gloucester and Italy flanker Jake Polledri is still battling to return from knee surgery and nerve damage nearly a year after he was injured in the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup. With the Nations Series now about to start, the back row is facing yet more rehabilitation work to get him back onto the pitch and George Skivington, his club head coach, admits there is no return date for one of the most dynamic players in the Six Nations.

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Polledri, who turns 26 on November 8, didn’t play for Gloucester in the 2020/21 campaign after injuring knee ligaments against Scotland on November 14 in Florence. That was his 19th international appearance and the injury came just as Polledri was starting to prove he was the natural back row successor to Italian icon Sergio Parisse.

Skivington revealed that nerve damage complicated the recovery of Polledri but a recent improvement has given the player and his club hope that his long period of rehabilitation could finally be coming to an end.

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Speaking ahead of Friday’s Gallagher Premiership match at home against Exeter, Skivington said: “Jake has made some really good progress in the last couple of months and the injury was severe. There were a number of things that happened in the knee injury and there is a little bit of nerve stuff that is ongoing and so he is still a way off playing at the moment.

“A month ago there was some real progression which was positive but he isn’t near to coming back. He is working incredibly hard and is super positive. It has been a tough time and unfortunately, this isn’t an injury you can’t put a time scale on. Believe me, I am asking for a time scale but there isn’t one.

“He is seeing specialists where he needs to and it is getting past that stage now and that was a crux point. Our medical team is outstanding and he is in a good spot. The pressure of a return date wouldn’t help and there are markers and it was a big one his hit a month ago. We want him to be 100 per cent because you can easily push things too hard and set yourself back a long way. It’s very frustrating but he is getting excited after pushing through that bit we talked about.”

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Scotland out-half Adam Hastings missed last weekend’s win over Newcastle but Skivington added: “Adam took a bang last week and it wasn’t anything major. He is in good shape and is back from Scotland.”

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'Still a way off': No sign of Polledri return after 12 months out

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