RaboDirect PRO12
Stoddart nears return from injury
ESPN Staff
July 28, 2012
Wales fullback Morgan Stoddart is tended to by medics, England v Wales, Rugby World Cup warm-up, Twickenham, England, August 6, 2011
Wales' Morgan Stoddart suffered a horrific leg injury during his side's World Cup warm-up clash with England last August © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Morgan Stoddart
Tournaments/Tours: RaboDirect PRO12
Teams: Scarlets | Wales

Scarlets fullback Morgan Stoddart is set to make his long-awaited return from a horrific broken leg at the start of the new RaboDirect PRO12 season.

The 27-year-old was cruelly ruled out of Wales' Rugby World Cup campaign when he broke the tibia and fibia in his left leg during the warm-up clash with England at Twickenham last August. A subsequent operation saw a rod being inserted in his leg to help repair the damage and after nearly a year of rehabilitation he is nearing a return to action.

"It was just bad luck how the injury happened. I was tackled from behind," he told the Western Mail. "You could be tackled 10 times like that in a game and nothing happens. It wasn't the best time for it to happen with the World Cup coming up and I was probably playing the best I had for Wales.

"They told me, after I did the injury, I would be out for a minimum of a year and that's proved the case. It (the rod) runs from just below my knee to above my ankle. It's there forever. I had the screws out attaching it to the ankle about eight weeks ago to stop the pain. They were irritating me. It's still a bit painful, not so much during training but the next day."

Stoddart, who had looked on course to play a leading role in what proved to be a superb World Cup for Wales, insists he never considered calling time on his career despite the serious nature of his injury. "Not really," he said. "I've been pretty positive all along because I knew how long I could be out. It was a bad injury and would take a length of time to recover."

The versatile Stoddart, who can also play wing, has yet to take any contact but that next stage is set to be crossed during the Scarlets' forthcoming training camp in France. "If everything continues as it has over the last few weeks, I'll be able to. I hope to be ready to play at the start of the season," he said.

"Obviously, I want to play for Wales again but I've got to try and get in the Scarlets team first. If I do and play well for the Scarlets, hopefully I will be in contention for the Wales squad. I don't mind what position I play, as long as it's in the back three."

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