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Eggleshaw returns to training and pushes for first appearance

PHIL Eggleshaw says he will come back better and hungrier than ever after recovering from shoulder surgery.

Eggleshaw Haag training

PUSHY: Phil Egglshaw shows Nottingham head coach Martin Haag just how good his shoulder is working after surgery.

The Green and Whites back-rower returned to training at Lady Bay on Tuesday after more than three months out of action. He is poised to play some part in Nottingham's remaining British and Irish Cup group games this month.

Eggleshaw was cruelly sideline on the eve of the Championship season after doctors decided he needed to go under the knife to address a cartilage tear that hampered him for much of last season.

So, from an exhausting pre-season campaign lasting three months, Eggleshaw started his rehabilitation with Nottingham fitness and conditioning coach Jo Brun in early October.

The endless hours in the weights room and on the exercise bike did more than just repair him physically for a New Year's Day return to team training, it revitalised the 23-year-old mentally.

"I would never say an injury like that is ideal, but the rest from rugby did me some good," said Eggleshaw.

"I certainly realised just how lucky I am to play rugby for a living.

"I'd never been out of action during the season for so long, but the time really felt like it flew by because I was hard at work. It was a long, drawn-out recovery, and tough under the Frenchman, but it went smoothly all the way."

That was confirmed with his first hit during Tuesday morning's forwards session.

"I've already noticed that it is a lot less painful and much more stable in contact," said Eggleshaw.

"It really has made a huge difference."

For all he did to maintain his fitness and strength in the gym, nothing could prepare the versatile back-rower for the sort of induction that was waiting for him on a boggy Lady Bay pitch.

"I would prefer a slightly harder track, but it is nice to be back," said Eggleshaw.

"A January come-back in England was always going to be all the tougher with the way the ground gets so heavy. It's hard work, but there is a lot more of that ahead of me."

Eggleshaw is yet to play a competitive match under head coach Martin Haag, having been ruled out in the Green and Whites' final pre-season match against Leicester, but has immediately impressed his boss since re-joining the squad.

"I'm delighted that Phil is back and he has looked really good in training," said Haag.

"He is not a million miles away from playing which is great as it gives us added strength and depth as well and puts pressure on guys to perform who are in there at the moment."

Timing is in Eggleshaw's favour with the remaining pool games in the Cup an ideal stage to prove himself.

"If I go and give it everything I've got, then it's for Martin to decide if I'm good enough," said Eggleshaw.

"I've worked hard for it, but nothing is a given in this sport."


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