Blues prop Gethin Jenkins close to return, says coach Danny Wilson

Gethin Jenkins
Gethin Jenkins has won a record 129 Wales caps and five more for the Lions

Cardiff Blues and Wales prop Gethin Jenkins is close to a return to action after tearing a bicep in December.

Blues coach Danny Wilson says the the 36-year-old is making good progress, after setting himself the target or a post-Six Nations return.

Jenkins missed all of the tournament for Wales but could be back this week.

"We are hoping if he ticks the relevant physio and conditioning boxes you'll see him back in a Blues shirt in the next couple of weeks," said Wilson.

"He's going well. He's making good progress now."

Jenkins is unlikely to start Blues' Pro12 trip to Leinster on Saturday, 25 March, but is likely to figure in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final at Gloucester on Saturday, 1 April, if medical tests go well.

The injury mean the 36-year-old loose-head prop has been unable to press claims for a place on the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

He toured there with the Lions in 2005 and again in South Africa four years later. Jenkins had to leave the 2013 Lions tour to Australia without playing a game because of injury.

Returning to action before the season ends would enhance his chances of playing some part down under, even if it is on Wales' summer trip that includes Tests against Samoa and Tonga.

Wilson continued: "Gethin being Gethin, he was keen to get back as quickly as he possibly could and he set himself some very big targets which he worked extremely hard to get to.

"He was probably a week or two off."

Blues lie eighth in the Pro12 table, nine points behind sixth-place Glasgow.

Pro12 top six? An outside chance

Wilson admits, due to his side's recent form, Blues are now very much an outside bet for a top six finish that would automatically send them into the top tier European Champions Cup next season.

"It's a big ask now," Wilson added.

"We've left ourselves a fair bit to do to get into the top six, but there's still mathematically the opportunity and we've got some big games ahead of us."

Qualification for the Champions Cup is also possible via end-of-season play-offs involving French and English clubs

Wilson added: "A play-off spot gives us the opportunity to make Champions Cup next year."

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