Stoddart on course for comeback
THE Scarlets are hopeful Wales international Morgan Stoddart will be fit for the start of the new season — but insist they will tread carefully with the full-back's recovery.
Stoddart suffered a horrific double fracture of his leg playing for Wales in a World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham last summer.
The injury ended the full-back's dream of travelling to New Zealand and sidelined him for the entire campaign.
Stoddart has returned to light training under the guidance of conditioning coach Brad Harrington at Parc y Scarlets.
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And while the Scarlets are optimistic the 27-year-old will be back in action for the opening salvo of the RaboDirect Pro12, they are also cautious of thrusting him back into the fray too soon.
"The x-rays have come back fine and Morgan is currently back running and doing some light rugby sessions," said a Scarlets spokesperson.
"We are hoping he will be ready to play a part in pre-season and then for the start of the league season, but obviously it was a serious injury and at the moment we have to be mindful of that.
"He is having a specific training programme with Brad Harrington to get him up to speed.
"Morgan is an integral member of our squad and hopefully we can see him back in action very soon."
Stoddart isn't the only member of the Scarlets squad on the recovery trail.
Back-rower Rob McCusker (shoulder) and centre Gareth Maule (ankle) underwent surgery in the off-season, while scrum-half Aled Davies is set to feature in the pre-season matches in August after recovering from his latest knee operation.
Wing Dale Ford has been another long-term absentee and is still recovering from the double fracture of the leg he suffered in the LV= Cup match against the Blues last October.