George North: Comeback before end of season not ruled out

Lawrence Nolan

Wales back George North could play a part for the Ospreys before the season has finished as he continues his comeback from a serious knee injury. 

North has not played since last April after rupturing his ACL, which ruled him out of the British and Irish Lions tour.

The 29-year-old also didn’t feature in the Autumn Nations Series and the recent Six Nations, while he has also suffered some setbacks during his recovery.

He has not been named in the Ospreys squad for their United Rugby Championship tour to South Africa, but the derbies with Cardiff and Scarlets are seen as realistic targets.

Last five per cent

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth said: “He’s not fully training yet. The last five per cent is always the hardest to get, and he wasn’t quite right. We don’t think he is too far away.

“He is a big man, whose knee will respond differently to other people with the same injury. We are governed by the symptoms that happen once he trains, so we need to make sure we get control of that.

“Like with all of our players, you don’t want players back for a week, you want them back for good. There has been a couple of setbacks of how his knee has reacted to training. We don’t think they are serious setbacks.

“You have got to build endurance into an injury as well, so it doesn’t react every time it is stressed. We are confident we will get him back as soon as his body will let him. That’s a few weeks away yet.”

READ MORE: Ulster’s Dan McFarland to lean on Duane Vermeulen’s local knowledge in South Africa