Former Wales international Mark Jones has backed Scarlets’ rising star Dale Ford to bounce back stronger from the double leg fracture the winger suffered against Cardiff Blues last weekend.
In a cruel twist, the 20-year-old had only just returned to the first XV after a fracture in the same leg and had put in an impressive performance at Parc y Scarlets before being forced off early in the second half.
Ford broke both his fibia and tibia in an injury similar to the one suffered by Wales and Scarlets full-back Morgan Stoddart in a World Cup warm-up match against England.
Scarlets skills coach Jones himself suffered his fair share of injuries during a career in which he scored 13 tries in 46 appearances for his country and believes Ford has the strength of character to make a second comeback.
He said: “It’s a real shame for Dale, I'm gutted for him. He's worked really hard to get back from his last injury and was showing determination and increased confidence against some strong sides in the early part of our season.
“We've got a lot of time for Dale, he listens and has been really focused on improving his game and we were starting to see the benefits of that. He's one of a group of our young Scarlets players who have really come through well from the investment the region has made in them over recent years.
“It will be really tough for him to take having just come back. I went to see him in the medical room after the game and he was saying all the same things I did when I came back and injured my knee again in my second game back from injury, I understood how he felt and recall the frustration.
“But he's a brave player, was showing the ability to beat people on one-to-ones and becoming a stronger tackler. He has a very mature head so he'll bounce back from this once he's got over the shock of it all. He's a very motivated young player and the key is he's only 20 so he's got lots of time ahead of him.”