Ellis Jenkins is excited to take a step up in his rehabilitation as the Cardiff Blues squad return to training at the High Motive Training Centre at Pentwyn Leisure Centre.
The 11-times capped Welsh international has been out of action since suffering a serious knee injury in the final moments of a man-of-the-match performance against South Africa in November 2018.
However, having spent the last few months on an individual training programme in lockdown, the Cardiff Blues product was relishing the prospect of linking up with the medical and conditioning staff at the region for face-to-face sessions once again.
Speaking on the Flats and Shanks Podcast ahead of the squad’s return, Jenkins said: “We finished training in the middle of March when everything went into lockdown and I managed to get some gym equipment in the house, so I’ve managed to tick along and improve as much as I can.
“It’s been nice over the last week or so because I’ve been back in with the physio and with the proper equipment doing some stuff so hopefully I can progress a bit quicker now that we’re back in.
“It’s been tough not having that physical contact. You’ve obviously got a programme to follow but that’s without some of the proper equipment, the hands on treatment and the expertise of the physios as well, who watch over you while you do it.
“It’s obviously not ideal but like I said, I’ve been trying to do as much as I can. I managed to get a couple of dumbbells from Robin Sowden-Taylor to keep ticking over in the house and I’ve just been doing what I can.
“The fit squad have started (July 3), but the long-term injured players are on a different programme.”
Jenkins has now been back in the Blues system for several weeks and is hoping to begin running once again by the end of the month. However, with such a complex injury he remains reluctant to set a specific return date.
He continued: “I don’t want to get ahead of myself with the injury. There’s been a couple of times where I’ve put in dates that I’m really aiming to come back, and you almost try to push it too much to make those dates.
“I’ve been back in for nearly two weeks with the physios, doing rehab stuff and I’m hoping to start running by the end of July.
“With injuries like this, you’ll have different setbacks. You’ll start running, feel really good but then it will swell back up again and you’ll be sore. That’s where I’ve been previously so we’re trying to use this time wisely to get to a place where I can train and keep progressing without the set-backs.”
However, during the lockdown period, the Cardiff Blues skipper caught the eye for his talents off the field.
He showed his skills on the guitar and was joined by girlfriend and West End star, Sophie Evans, for a version of the popular hit ‘Shallow’ from the award-winning film, ‘A Star is Born’.
Jenkins explained: “I’ve had the guitar for years, and it’s just been sitting in the corner and never touched it.
“So me and Sophie both decided to go and get guitar lessons in November, which was something nice to do together.
“But she refused to cut her nails. So we’d go and she couldn’t play the guitar because her nails were too long.
“After two or three lessons, she was getting frustrated that she wasn’t Jimi Hendrix yet so she packed it in.
“But I’ve had so much time off now that I’ve managed to keep it going. But fitting my fat fingers in the frets is the tough part.
“I’ll be like David Brent with the boys from now on! I’ve got like 30 seconds of different songs that I can play. I’ve started learning American Pie the other day, and the chorus is quite easy but the verse is beyond my capabilities.”