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Jenkins one of four set to return against Zebre

1st November 2017

Gethin Jenkins is set to make his first appearance of the season during Saturday's Guinness PRO14 showdown with Zebre (7.35pm).

The Wales record cap holder has been on the side-lines since undergoing knee surgery in the season but will make a timely return at Cardiff Arms Park.

Jenkins is one of four players back available for the must-win clash and Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson believes it is a major boost.

He said: “Gethin will be available this weekend, which is a good piece of news.

“It’s great to have him back out on the training ground first of all. As a leader, his leadership abilities and skills go before him and it’s great to have him back in the environment. He demands standards straight away, which is what we're after.

“He had a little bit of a calf niggle, which knocked him back a little bit, but it wasn’t for his lack of effort, because there is no one who works harder to get back on a rugby pitch. I know he’s really keen to get back.

“We probably left him a week longer just to be sure, but now he’s fit, raring to go and ready to get out on the pitch.

“In terms of what we know, he’s a quality rugby player and will be good addition to us to have him back fit.”

There was further good news with Taufa’ao Filise, Damian Welch and George Earle all back available and Wilson was pleased to have some selection dilemmas up front.

He continued: “Hopefully we’ll have Fa’ao (Taufa’ao Filise), Damian Welch and George Earle back available, which helps us massively amongst the front five.

“So we have some senior players back and bolstering up-front that we’ve needed. That gives us a few selection decisions to make as opposed to perhaps not having them to make, so that’s pleasing.

“In the backs Tom James could potentially be back available. Blaine Scully seems to be making good process from the early injury he had against the Scarlets.”

Wilson also revealed long-term casualties Gareth Anscombe, Ellis Jenkins and Sam Warburton are making good progress with their recoveries and remain on track for their scheduled returns.

However, it was not all good news with Dillon Lewis set to miss up to six weeks of action. The tight-head prop was an early casualty at Parc y Scarlets, coming off with a shoulder injury.

Wilson added: “Dillon, unfortunately, we’re awaiting confirmation, but it will probably be four to six weeks, which is a blow as he worked his way into starting at tighthead in the derby, as well as at Toulouse, and was going well, but picked up an injury very early.

“Dillon has deserved the chances to start, but unfortunately for him, he didn’t get to one scrum against Scarlets before he was off the field.

“He’s suffered an AC joint injury. We’re not quite sure how severe, but hopefully, as I said, it’s a matter of four to six weeks as the original diagnosis says.

“He’s not had brilliant luck so far, but as I told him, that’s the life of a professional rugby player, where you go through the ups and the downs. It’s about getting back as soon as you can, being diligent with your recovery and I’ve not doubt that’s what he’ll do.”