Taulupe Faletau 'progressing well' ahead of Wales' Six Nations opener
Wales' star number eight Taulupe Faletau is "progressing well" from his latest injury, according to assistant coach Robin McBryde.
But a decision over whether he is fit to be involved against opening RBS 6 Nations opponents Italy in Rome on February 5 is unlikely to be rushed.
Bath forward Faletau missed three of Wales' autumn Tests this season after suffering a knee injury on his Aviva Premiership debut two months earlier.
And then he was laid low by a knee problem picked up during Bath's game against Wasps on Christmas Eve, putting a question mark over his early Six Nations prospects.
McBryde reported that Faletau is running in training, although Wales' forwards specialist ruled out a possible return to action when Bath face Anglo-Welsh Cup opponents Gloucester on Friday.
"It's going the right way, but it's a bit too early to say yea or nay for Italy," McBryde said.
"But he won't be playing this weekend - that would be rushing it.
"Let's see how he is going this week and next week before making any decisions. But ideally, it would be great if he had some game-time the following weekend (Italy).
"He is progressing well and is back running. We are in good contact and have a good relationship with the Bath physiotherapists."
One Wales player now back in action is scrum-half Rhys Webb, who suffered an ankle injury in November but began his comeback by captaining the Ospreys to a sixth successive European Challenge Cup bonus-point victory this term when they beat Newcastle at Kingston Park two days ago.
And it is feasible that Webb could be involved for the Ospreys again next weekend when they face Bristol in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
"It was good to see him (Webb) and others coming back to fitness," McBryde added. "That only adds to the competitive nature of training.
"We are discussing individuals with regards to giving them a little bit more game-time.
"There are a number of players who could potentially go back to their regions and clubs this weekend."