Luke Watson finally ready for return after successful ankle surgery

2014-06-12 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Luke Watson is eyeing a return to rugby when the Kings tackle the Bulls in a friendly in Port Elizabeth next Saturday.

The 30-year-old loose forward has been beset by injuries in the last year, and hasn’t played any competitive rugby since last year’s Super Rugby competition.

Watson’s injury woes started when he fractured a bone in his ankle towards the latter part of the 2012 season. He returned to play for the Kings in their debut Super Rugby season last year, but was immediately sidelined after taking a blow to the throat in their first game against the Western Force.

He returned to Super Rugby action later in the campaign, but his ankle injury flared up again, which ruled him out for the rest of the competition. He eventually underwent ankle surgery in Cape Town, during which pins were placed in his heel, ruling him out for the rest of 2013.

Watson was earmarked to return to action in March this year, but with the Kings not playing Super Rugby in 2014, it was decided to not rush him back too soon.

But the injury appears to have healed and the former 10-Test Springbok could be back in action as soon as next Saturday, when the Kings host the Bulls.

EP Rugby’s media manager Derrick Spies yesterday told Sport24 that Watson’s operation was a “huge success”.

Spies said Watson has been in full training with the team for the past three months and will most likely face the Bulls on June 21.

The game will form part of their preparations for the 2014 Currie Cup Premier Division. They will also play a Sharks XV in PE on July 4 before starting their Currie Cup campaign at home against Western Province on August 8.

The Kings, who lost 34-12 to Wales on Tuesday night, were earlier this year added to an expanded eight-team Currie Cup Premier Division. They are assured of their top-flight spot for at least the next two seasons and will also enter the Super Rugby competition when it expands to 18 teams from 2016.

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