Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Injured Jones in Six Nations race

Injured Jones in Six Nations race

MARK Jones is facing a Six Nations fitness race after he was ruled out of rugby for at least three months.

The Scarlets captain has undergone keyhole surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee following an injury sustained in training with Wales last week.

Jones has been told he will not be back in action until at least the start of February, putting a major doubt over his participation in the Six Nations.

It is the latest in a long line of injury setbacks for Wales coach Warren Gatland, who is already without the services of Mike Phillips, Lee Byrne, Adam Jones and Ian Evans.

And it is a major blow for the Scarlets ahead of their Heineken Cup encounters with reigning European champions Leinster next month.

The region's head coach Nigel Davies said: "It is very disappointing for Mark at this particular time. It's one of the curses of modern-day rugby unfortunately. It is a hugely physical sport and these boys train intensively on a daily basis.

"However, Mark is one of the most positive players I know in terms of coming back from injury. He deals with these setbacks more positively than most people. He's been a huge asset for us already this season in his role as captain, is totally respected by all the players and leads by example.

"Mark will be back with us in a week or so for his physio treatment. Despite the injury, I know he will continue to play a key leadership and motivational role off the field with the players."

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