Bath centre Olly Barkley close to return from injury

Olly Barkley gets carried off with a broken leg against Gloucester
Barkley broke his leg in two places against Gloucester last season

Bath centre Olly Barkley is closing in on a return to action, seven months after breaking his leg.

The 29-year-old had hoped to play in the LV= Cup against Worcester on Saturday and wrote on Twitter external-linklast week: "Hoping, all being well, to get some time off the bench next week!".

But coach Martin Haag confirmed to BBC Radio Bristol: "It's probably a week too soon, which is unfortunate.

"He's making good progress - he's not a million miles away."

Barkley broke the lower tibia and fibula in his left leg during Bath's Premiership defeat by Gloucester in March - the second time in his career he had suffered the injury.

Haag continued: "I'm really pleased with what he's been doing in training. He just needs to keep confident and keep doing the right stuff and hopefully it won't be too long before we see him."

And Barkley took to his Twitter page again on Wednesdayexternal-link to confirm he was not yet ready to play: "Thought this might be the week to try the new titanium peg out but Brent and the boys in white have held me back for another game or two.

"Felt better about the delay but I've done 8 months, another two weeks won't break me."

Meanwhile, Bath will welcome back Lewis Moody, Francois Louw, David Wilson and Lee Mears from World Cup duty, and Haag confirmed they could be in line for recalls against Worcester.

"With people being knocked out of the World Cup slightly earlier it gives us a chance to involve some of the England boys and the other guys who have been away," Haag added.

"Those guys need game time to get used to how we play and some things we are doing slightly differently to last year.

"For us it's an added bonus. We had a good win last weekend but we've got to challenge ourselves to back it up this weekend against Worcester to set us up nicely in this competition."