By Ali Stokes
After initial fears that Wasps flanker Brad Shields was set for a lengthy injury layoff with a fractured cheekbone, the Coventry-based side has been handed a boost following the 27-year-old's appointment with a specialist yesterday.
The England backrow was initially feared to have been ruled out for up to eight weeks, but has been handed an approximate four week recovery period after having a surgically inserted metal plate in the left side of his face later today.
Shields sustained the injury during his Premiership debut after clashing heads with Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Stu Townsend in the 43rd minute of Wasps' defeat last weekend.
Shields' reduced recovery time will have come as welcome news for Wasps' Director of Rugby Dai Young, who faced the risk of being without six frontline backrowers. With Nizaam Carr, Alex Reider, Thomas Young, Jack Willis and potentially Nathan Hughes (who was forced from the field 10 minutes after Shields) all ruled out with injury.
Wasps will continue their Gallagher Premiership campaign this weekend at the Ricoh Arena against Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers, hunting a second victory after scraping past Worcester Warriors two weeks ago.
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