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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Wednesday, August 22nd 2018

Murray provides detailed injury update

Head of medical services, Rory Murray says Bristol Bears look set to head into the 2018/19 season with their highest ever player availability during his time at the club.

Most notably, Murray says his medical team have been hugely encouraged by the progress of international duo, Charles Piutau and Chris Vui, who could both feature in Friday’s pre-season double-header.

Pat Lam’s side taking on GKIPA Championship side Nottingham at Clifton RFC (2:30pm), before welcoming Pro14 outfit Connacht to Ashton Gate (7:45pm).

Murray also revealed that Dan Thomas, who missed the end of the 2017/18 season with a knee injury, is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation and could be available towards the end of the September, while Mat Protheroe is expected to return around Christmas time.

“Where we’re pitching to come in at is probably our highest availability for the first game of the season in my time here, which is quite unusual in itself because pre-season is quite busy,” said Murray.

Dan Thomas.
Mat Protheroe.

“Where, during the season, you’ve only got 23 players exerting themselves maximally, in pre-season you’ve got every member of the squad trying to really increase their training capacity and increase their training tolerance.

“Everyone is going hard and, with that, comes injury risk and to have so many players available is both unprecedented and very, very pleasing.

“Mat (Protheroe) and Dan (Thomas) had very similar injuries, not occurring too far apart. They are both doing extremely well – Dan Thomas could nudge a few of those Premiership Shield games at the end of September and certainly be playing rugby in October.

“Protheroe’s was a slightly more serious injury than Dan’s, but he’s doing really well and surpassing expectation and we hope to see him around Christmas.

“We projected Dan to come in around late November or December, but he’s just done so well post-op, we had a great surgical outcome, but Dan has been fantastic and is pushing things really hard.”

Charles Piutau.
Chris Vui.

Two players who are unlikely to feature before December are Aly Muldowney and Sione Faletau, who have both sustained pre-season set-backs, but it’s much better news for Charles Piutau and Chris Vui, who could be set to return during Friday’s clash with Connacht at Ashton Gate.

“Aly (Muldowney) arrived in particularly good fetal and with no previous history on his neck. It was just a one-off freak incident of which he’s had a really good surgical outcome and we’re pitching for an early December return. He’s already made good strides after surgery.

“With Sione (Faletau), he’s been so unfortunate having trained so well, he’s very unlucky to have picked up a training injury which will keep him out until the beginning of December.

“With Charles (Piutau) and Chris (Vui), eight days is a long time in sport, but both of them are well on course to play against Bath.

“Charles, we expect to see on Friday night against Connacht for some limited game time and then a full training week next week,” said Murray.

“He’s great to work with and we look forward to seeing him out there soon.

“Chris played in some crucial games for Samoa and his exertion left him with a few bits of injuries to tidy up when he came back, but we’re still well on course for Bath next week.”

Aly Muldowney.
Sione Faletau.

Murray also provided an update on two of the Academy’s long-term injury lay-offs, with Aaron Chapman and James Dun both making good strides in their recovery.

“Aaron (Chapman) unfortunately injured his achilles with England U20 which ruled him out of the World Cup, he’s going to be back mid-September,” added Murray.

“James Dun was injured around Christmas time and again, he’s surpassing expectation and is expected to play again in the middle of September.”


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