Bristol Rugby quartet expected to be fit for pre-season action
JASON Hobson will not be the only Bristol player to go under the knife this summer – with Ruki Tipuna, Roy Winters and Ross Johnston all needing surgery to correct minor injuries.
The quartet – including prop Hobson, who had a shoulder operation on Tuesday – are all expected to be fit in time for Bristol's first pre-season fixture in August.
Scrum-half Tipuna, like Hobson, has had surgery on a shoulder this week, while lock Winters has had an operation on his ankle. Hooker Johnston is also due to have ankle surgery today.
Bristol's head physiotherapist, Dan Martin, said the operations were routine procedures to clear up some problems that had been affecting the players during the recent season.
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"What we have tried to do with these guys who have had niggles is get them sorted as soon as we can in the pre-season," said Martin.
"One of (head coach) Liam Middleton's key things is to physically dominate teams – and to do that you need all of your guys to have functioning bodies. So we have been quite proactive regarding getting all the guys in for surgery now. I would imagine all of these players will be back for the first pre-season game."
Martin revealed how veteran forward Winters had played for much of the 2011-12 season with an ankle problem – and that the early signs from his operation were very encouraging.
"Roy has been battling on with that for most of the season – but the surgeon said he will get a really good result with the operation, which is good news for Roy going into next season," said Martin.
"Ruki went under the knife for a shoulder operation, which again has been a longer-term management issue, while Ross is due to have a clean-out on his ankle on Thursday.
"The timescale for all of them would be around eight to ten weeks, although there is a possibility Roy and Ross could be closer to six weeks. But, generally speaking, I would have thought they would all be good for the pre-season games."