Ospreys: Aaron Jarvis nearing return after 10-month lay-off
AARON Jarvis can finally see light at the end of the tunnel after the injury that ruined the biggest day of his rugby career.
The Wales international is close to a return with the Ospreys, ten months after damaging knee ligaments during the international against New Zealand in Cardiff.
It hasn’t been a smooth road since for the former Bath player, with a number of problems pushing back his comeback, but he played a half for Bridgend in the Premiership against Llandovery last week and is almost ready to go again for his region.
“There’s finally light at the end of the tunnel for him,” said Ospreys’ head coach Steve Tandy ahead of the Pro12 encounter with Connacht in Galway on Saturday.
“He was blowing a bit down in Llandovery, but the scrum went well and he’s training with us now, too.
“He’s available for selection, and over the next few weeks I’m sure he’ll feature.”
Jarvis first needs to top up his conditioning, having been away from the senior scene for so long. Rob Howley gave him his chance at Test level last autumn and he excelled on his debut against Argentina, holding his place for the game with the All Blacks later in the month, only for the tight-head to suffer “significant” damage to his right knee within two minutes of the game starting.
The 27-year-old had initially hoped to be back for close season but a number of minor issues conspired against him, requiring him to be patient.
Now, however, he is eyeing his Ospreys return.
“Aaron’s had a couple of setbacks, but he’s remained positive and the conditioning and physio departments have put a huge amount of work into him,” said Tandy.
“He’ll be a bit behind the others with his conditioning — that’s inevitable after so long out.
“But he’s a great character and it’s good to have him back in the group.
“He’ll add to an already strong pool of tight-heads that contains Adam Jones, Joe Rees, Daniel Suter and Nicky Thomas. It’s always a positive to have an international guy coming back into our environment.”
The Ospreys are still waiting for news on Tom Smith after he hurt a knee against Edinburgh last weekend, with a specialist called in to advise the flanker on his options.