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'There are no more operations, he looks like a new man'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Exeter have expressed delight that long-time absentee Ollie Devoto is finally on the mend following a double hip operation after an injury-hit season that restricted him to just seven appearances in 2021/22.

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It was New Year’s Day versus Bristol when the midfielder was last seen playing in a Chiefs match, but head coach Ali Hepher is confident the injury problem has now been successfully eradicated and that a pain-free season awaits the two-time England player last capped in February 2020.

“Ollie is doing really well,” reported Hepher when quizzed on the status of the soon-to-be 29-year-old Devoto heading into an Exeter season that begins with this Saturday’s visit by Gallagher Premiership champions Leicester to Sandy Park.

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“The initial op on his hip was really successful. Once we went through it there was something on the other side not as bad so he had that tidied up as well and all roads now lead ahead. There are no more injuries or anything like that, or no more operations to tidy up.

“There might be the odd screw (to take) out here or there but other than that he will be fully good. He looks like a new man walking around the place because he had been in so much pain walking around and running that it really does start to weigh on you a player.

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“But just seeing his face around the place, he is really in a happy mood. It will be a little bit of time before we get him back but when we do, we will have him back in a better place than when he left us. He has been a big miss but when he is back it will knock our squad on massively.

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“The pleasing thing is everything is going in the right direction, he is really happy and ready to go.”

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