Gloucester Rugby: Shaun Knight rides to the rescue a Kingsholm?
SHAUN Knight is hoping to help ease Gloucester's tighthead prop injury glut, and be fit in time to face London Welsh on Saturday week.
The 23-year-old front-rower's knee tendon trouble has kept him sidelined far longer than initially expected.
Knight has not played since Gloucester's 36-16 Amlin Challenge Cup victory over Mont de Marsan at Kingsholm on Saturday, January 19.
The Matson-born prop was only expected to miss a fortnight's action, but has encountered problems with his recovery.
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Now though he feels he is starting to win the battle, and is hopeful he will be ready for Gloucester's next Premiership clash, against Welsh at Kingsholm on Saturday, March 23 (kick-off 3pm).
Rupert Harden hobbled out of Gloucester's 31-25 defeat at Bath on Friday, March 1, and the Cherry and Whites are still assessing his condition.
Italian Dario Chistolini will be on hand to face Welsh, but Gloucester will need as many tighthead hands on deck as possible.
And Knight is hoping he will be ready in time.
He explained: "I think I've been out about seven weeks now, that was frustrating to include the Saxons, but generally I'm just desperate to get back playing.
"It's a massive six games we've got left and I desperately want to be involved in them.
"I'm hoping to be back soon, but the injury is just taking a little bit more time than we thought at first.
"Yesterday I ran the best I have since the injury, and it felt really good.
"So I've just got to keep working hard and hopefully there's a good chance I can be ready for the London Welsh game."
Knight said it is important not to allow injuries to affect your mood.
He continued: "Some people hate injuries and go into a dark place, I do now and again but I try as hard as I can not to let it get to me.
"It does get on top of you at times but you've got to think there are a lot worse things than being out for almost two months."
Docked five points for fielding incorrectly registered scrum-half Tyson Keats, London Welsh now find themselves bottom of the Premiership table, two points behind Sale Sharks.
The Exiles claim former team manager Mike Scott is at the centre of Keats' botched registration, and have launched a staunch appeal of the RFU's ruling.
Knight believes no amount of off-field wrangling will affect Welsh's approach when they pitch up at Kingsholm a week on Saturday.
In fact the Gloucester Academy graduate believes Lyn Jones' men will be an even tougher prospect in the face of their steadily-increasing adversity.
He added: "All of their problems could make them even harder to beat.
"They're a fighting team anyway, because they have to be.
"They've claimed some good results already this season, and I can't see it affecting them, they will just try to fight it out even more.
"I think the only way it will affect them is by forcing them to fight it out to the death even more than they would already anyway."