Nowell injury update
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs Director of Rugby Rob Baxter remains hopeful that winger Jack Nowell will play again before the end of the current season.
Having spent much of the current campaign working his way back from surgery on his foot in October, then a hamstring tear just days before he was set to return to action, the 28-year-old is set for more time on the sidelines after picking up a knee ligament injury in Exeter's Gallagher Premiership victory over Worcester Warriors.
In what was only his third appearance of the season, the England and British Lions winger limped out of the action during the second half of the Chiefs' 41-10 success at Sandy Park.
In what has been a season to forget for the 28-year-old Cornishman, who has missed much of the campaign as he recovered from surgery on his foot in October, then tearing a hamstring days before he was set to return to action.
Addressing the media ahead of next week's Premiership trip to London Irish, Baxter was able to give an update on Nowell
"We have got a few bumps and bruises this week," said Baxter. "None of it looks long term, other than Jack Nowell who it looks like will be out for at least a few weeks. He has unfortunately sprained his MCL in that awkward tackle, just the way he fell.
"Again that is a bit of a crippling blow for him having only just got back fit and looking good and sharp. We know he had really taken his time on his rehab to get back right 100 percent so that is a disappointment for him and for us.
"I hope this won't be the end of his season and we will see him before the end."
Chiefs have four more regular-season games and with a play-off semi-final likely and then potential final the following week, making it a maximum of six games remaining over a seven-week time frame.
Discussing Nowell's emotional reaction to the bad news, Baxter added: "Initially, straight after the game he was pretty distraught but he is a really positive character and he looks for the positives whenever he can.
"I had a couple of chats with him this week, one on the phone and a couple in person and all he is focusing on now is to get himself fit and available for some possible late season games. He is brilliant like that and we are going to give him every opportunity to have some more input in our season, hopefully."