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Scott: I'm stronger after operation

Scotland centre Matt Scott believes he will approach the World Cup a stronger player than before his latest shoulder surgery.

Scott returned to full training as Vern Cotter's squad reconvened following a week away from their pre-season preparations.

The 24-year-old has not played since Scotland's RBS 6 Nations defeat by Ireland on March 21 and underwent an operation to repair damage to his left shoulder.

"I'm feeling really good and delighted to be back full training," he said.

"I got the all clear just over a week ago and we had an off-week so I was chomping at the bit to get back training with the guys. My first session today went really well."

Scott underwent surgery last summer after dislocating the shoulder and missed Scotland's November tests. But one of six anchors inserted into the shoulder was loose, causing bone fragment to cause him problems and inflaming a ligament.

The blow saw Scott fearing for his World Cup hopes but he anticipates being back to his best when Scotland open their campaign against Japan on September 23.

The Edinburgh back said: "It was tough being told (I needed surgery) again, especially because we didn't know what was causing the trouble with my shoulder.

"The surgeon said it could have been three or four months, or it could have been six months which would really have put me in jeopardy of missing the tournament.

"I didn't know where I stood but the best-case scenario has happened so I'm thankful for that. The surgeon has done a great job.

"I've done semi-contact and done a bit of wrestling and I'm not thinking about the shoulder at all. It definitely feels better than it did after my first operation.

"I've been able to put in a good amount of work on my upper body strength, which I hadn't been able to do for about 18 months, which really put me back. I felt I wasn't able to make as much of an impact on the pitch. Now I feel I have got my size back."

Scott now hopes to make his comeback in Scotland's opening warm-up game against Ireland in Dublin on August 15.

"That's the target and by the way things are going I should be on track to do that," he said.

"I'm keen to get as much game time as possible. It's been a few months since I played so I really want to feature in the first game against Ireland."

Scott's return to fitness is a major boost to Cotter given the injury problems facing other centres in his pool.

Duncan Taylor is a major doubt after undergoing shoulder surgery, while Mark Bennett is also battling to return from the same problem. And Alex Dunbar is continuing his rehabilitation following a serious knee injury.

And Scott would appreciate a place in the final squad all the more given his recent struggles.

"You don't need any extra motivation, the World Cup is something I have dreamed of playing in for most of my life, but when you have a little bit of a scare and you know you are not going to have ideal preparation, and you have selection issues as well, there are guys playing really well in my position... So if I was to make the final squad I would be really chuffed because it has been a tough few months."


From Belfast Telegraph