Luckless Jones's injury curse strikes again
RYAN Jones's injury curse has struck again, with the inspirational Wales and Ospreys' forward fighting desperately to prove his fitness ahead of the start of this term's Heineken Cup.
The 76-cap former Celtic Warrior's latest slice of misfortune saw him suffer a calf strain in training.
It was the fifth injury Jones has picked up in 2013, starting with a dislocated thumb in January and continuing with a shoulder injury during the Six Nations, a calf strain during summer training, a shoulder problem against Treviso on the opening night of this season and now yet another lower-leg issue to contend with.
The latest setback has left him struggling to feature in the Pro12 encounter against Ulster at the Liberty on Friday evening, a match he would have hoped to use to prove his readiness for the home Heineken Cup date against Leinster eight days later.
"The problem Ryan has is that he trained last week and pulled up with a calf strain, to go on top of what he's already been dealing with," explained Ospreys' forwards coach Chris Gibbes.
"So from a selection point of view it's going to be touch and go for him this week."
Jones could be forgiven for feeling beyond frustrated after one of the most stop-start spells of his career.
He has started just one game this term, lasting only 48 minutes against Treviso before leaving the pitch in obvious pain.
He had been considered a certainty for involvement against Connacht last weekend, only to break down yet again.
"How serious is this latest bump? It's enough for him not to be able to play," said Gibbes. "We are just going to need to assess where he's at as we go through this week.
"We feel for him. He's a huge part of our team and to have a guy like that involved in the squad is massive.
"It's unfortunate for Ryan, but others guys will have their opportunities."