Ospreys: Ashley Beck set to return from hip injury against Connacht
Ospreys centre Ashley Beck is set to return from a hip injury against Connacht in the Pro 12 on Friday.
Wales international Beck, 24, has been out since May when he underwent surgery on a long-standing hip condition.
Ospreys are unbeaten in the Pro 12 but were thrashed by Northampton in the European Champions Cup on Saturday.
Head coach Steve Tandy said that the region will be boosted by Beck's return. "It's great to have him on the field," he said.
"He's looking alright, a little bit bigger than when he left us. We're hoping to get him involved at some point on Friday night."
Beck's return to fitness has come too late for him to be included in Wales' 34-man squad for the autumn series.
The Neath-born centre, capped seven times, also missed the summer tour to South Africa.
But Tandy was quick to praise Beck for working "phenomenally hard" during his rehabilitation.
"He's been the ultimate professional," he added.
"For any young guy who has been injured it's worth taking a look at how he's come through what was a pretty big operation."
"It's people like Beck coming back into the environment that does add confidence to the younger guys."
Ospreys are top of the Pro 12 table after six consecutive league wins and welcome Irish province Connacht to the Liberty Stadium on Friday.
"We've had a good run at the start of the season and we need to keep that momentum going, in particular through the autumn and Six Nations," said Tandy.
"If we pick up a couple more wins through those periods this year it will set us in good stead for the back end of the season."