Exeter Chiefs' Sireli Naqelevuki set for March return

Sireli Naqelevuki

Exeter Chiefs centre Sireli Naqelevuki is still at least month away from fitness, according to boss Rob Baxter.

Naqelevuki badly broke his arm in the Premiership loss against Gloucester in November and has not featured since.

It was initially thought he would be out for about a month but he has since needed surgery on the injury.

"He might not feature in this block of Premiership games but then that's pretty much going to be it," Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

"We think once we get him through this three or four-week period you'll probably see him featuring again once we get back into Premiership action."

Exeter return to their Premiership campaign after their Amlin Cup quarter-final at Stade Francais with a trip to Gloucester on 25 March.

Naqelevuki scored in Exeter's first two games, including the opening-day win at Leicester, who come to Sandy Park at the weekend.

But despite Baxter being short of backs, with both Josh Tatupu and Jack Nowell like to be out for the rest of the season, he says he will not rush the 31-year-old back to fitness.

He added: "It's one of those injuries that if we take any chances with we could potentially put him out for the season, require a second operation and then you just start to cause too many problems to make it worthwhile.

"We'll have him at absolutely 100% before he comes back. I know everyone's looking forward to seeing him, as I am, but we're not a one-man team and other guys are playing very well."

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