Bath given boost as Flatman 'on the mend'

David Flatman, the Bath and England prop, believes he could be back playing in early October after a successful operation on his Achilles tendon.

Flatman, 24, had his operation last Thursday and while cautious about pinpointing a return, expects to be back in a Bath shirt not long after the Premiership season kicks off on 4 September. He said: "The operation went well. The ankle is still a little sore at the moment and there is quite a lot of bruising, but it is good to know that I am now on the mend.

"I am not going to target any sort of return to action yet. We are probably looking at around 12 weeks at the moment which will rule me out of the first few Zurich Premiership matches. However, you never know, it could be sooner as [Bath's head of physical preparation] Chris Mallac and his medical team are extremely good at what they do - we will have to wait and see."

Another player on the comeback trail is Leicester's fly-half Sam Vesty, who plans a return to the Tigers first team after injury wrecked his 2003-04 campaign.

The 22-year-old underwent groin surgery at the beginning of the year before a "stinger" - a nerve pain that shoots down the neck - finally ended his season. But with a return to full fitness not far off, Vesty is looking for a return to the form which won him the supporters' and players' awards for Young Player of the Season in 2002-03.

He said: "I'm hoping to be involved in at least one of the pre-season games.I certainly feel like I could play and I've taken part in pre-season training, but the truth is I can't take that final step and take contact just yet as the injury could flare up again.

"It goes without saying that I want to be in the 22. I know I haven't played in a while, but if I get a spot on the bench hopefully I can force my way back into the starting line-up."

Sale Sharks will be without Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe for the first four months of the season. The Argentinian second rower injured his knee playing for the Pumas against the All Blacks last month and will join the club after Christmas.

Director of rugby Philippe Saint-André said: "It is a blow for us as we are trying to build a side capable of beating the best in the league, but it is one we will overcome - I will find a replacement before the start of the season."

Meanwhile, Ireland and Scotland have secured their places at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong next year after coming through the qualifying finals in Mallorca. England had already guaranteed their place at the tournament and they were joined by the Irish and Scots as well as event-winners Portugal plus Italy, France, Georgia and Russia. Scotland lost in the semi-finals to Portugal while Ireland were beaten by Italy.

The Scots suffered a surprise 24-14 defeat to Georgia in the group stage but they bounced back to beat France 35-0 in the last eight. Coach Rob Moffat said: "I don't know what happens but the French bring the best out of us. We won our last five matches against them and we knew how to handle them."

Ireland coach Ryan Constable was also pleased with his team's performance. He said: "This will enable the Irish Union to create a programme for the Ireland sevens team, to enable us to compete with the best in Hong Kong next year."

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain