GLASGOW lock Jonny Gray could be back in contention for a place in Scotland’s RBS Six Nations squad after progressing well in his recovery from an ankle injury.
It was revealed in mid-December that the 19-year-old second row, who made his Test debut as a replacement for his brother Richie against South Africa in November, had suffered an ankle injury in training but would not require surgery, and that it would require an eight-week recovery period. But Glasgow said yesterday that he had already spent nearly six weeks in the Scotstoun rehab unit [five weeks yesterday], which has given him an outside chance of being fit for the final Heineken Cup match against Toulon, and if not that certainly a hope of returning to full contact training well ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations opener away to Ireland in February.
The 19-year-old yesterday collected his second McCrea Financial Services Player of the Month award after being voted Glasgow’s top performer for November by supporters on the regular poll on the club’s official website. Gray was non-committal on his return to action but can see light at the end of the rehab tunnel.
“I’m honoured to have won the award and I’d like to thank the supporters for voting for me,” Gray said yesterday. “I’m not far away now. I’m working hard to get back fit as soon as possible.”
Gray also won the McCrea Financial Services Player of the Month award in September, which highlights the impact the teenager has made since signing a three-year contract in the summer and stepping into the first team on a consistent basis this season. He will certainly not be back for Saturday’s Heineken Cup resumption away to Exeter and the Warriors are expected to pick a very similar team to that which was due to face Edinburgh at Scotstoun on New Year’s Day, before a winter downpour intervened.
That means Sean Lamont should make his first appearance since injuring his ankle ligaments against the Ospreys at the end of November. Glasgow are bottom of Pool Two and out of contention for the quarter-finals, while the Chiefs in third are seeking victories over the Scots and Cardiff to re-open the potential of a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
The Chiefs lost 20-16 to Glasgow at Scotstoun and scrum-half Dave Lewis, who scored his first try for the club in their last-gasp defeat to Wasps last week, insisted that the team was out for revenge.
“Our Heineken Cup is not over,” he said.
“This is a massive game for us, and for the club and the fans as well. We are really looking forward to it, and hopefully we can produce the right result.”