George North set for Ospreys comeback against Scarlets after year out with knee injury
Wales star George North is set to make his comeback on Saturday after a year out of rugby.
North has been named among the replacements for Ospreys’ United Rugby Championship clash against the Scarlets in Swansea.
The 30-year-old back has not played since suffering knee ligament damage last April.
North’s injury ruled him out of contention for the British and Irish Lions’ 2021 South Africa tour, and his last Wales appearance was 13 months ago.
The Ospreys have three league games left this season, while Wales face a three-Test series against South Africa in July, with matches in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town.
The Ospreys pulled clear in the second half to earn a 22-6 victory over Cardiff in their Welsh derby at the Arms Park last Saturday.
The result left them nine points behind Welsh Shield leaders the Scarlets ahead of this weekend’s west Wales derby in Swansea.
The Scarlets meanwhile stayed in the hunt for the United Rugby Championship play-offs with a 38-19 bonus-point revenge win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade, having been beaten at home by the same team the preceding week.
Ospreys head coach Toby Booth told the BBC why the road to recovery for George North had been a long one.
“The last five per cent is the hardest part because you don’t know how you respond to training, especially after a long-term injury,” said Booth.
“Your body has to get used to the load you’re putting through it. With George, we got him to that point and then his body would react and then we would have to back it down.
“It wasn’t straightforward. We can only be governed by how the player feels and reacts. We’ve finally got to a situation where his body’s good enough to back up to the training he requires to perform well. So he’s now available.
“We’ll see what happens after this weekend to see how he pulls up for the following game.
“Like with all of our players, our aim is not to get them back for one-offs. It’s to get them back and stay back.
“It’s important we have the welfare of our players at the centre of decisions we make.”
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