INJURY-HIT Worcester Warriors are hopeful of getting Chris Pennell back fit in time for the Greene King IPA Championship play-off final against Bristol.
The full back’s hopes of playing a part in Warriors’ promotion finale appeared to be in doubt when he sustained a knee injury against their rivals last month.
However, director of rugby Dean Ryan believes the “breathing space” between their semi-final victory over London Scottish on Friday and the first leg of the final at Ashton Gate next Wednesday has given Pennell a chance of coming back.
His return would be a huge boost for Warriors who have suffered a string of injuries in recent weeks, with Charlie Mulchrone (broken foot), Andy Symons (leg) and Max Stelling (hamstring) all sidelined.
As well as losing Dean Hammond (thigh) against Scottish, Ben Howard was also forced off with a blow to the head, which would leave Worcester light at full back if he and Pennell both fail to return.
Ryan said: “We thought a six-day turnaround could work in our advantage, but it has suddenly stripped us bare.
“I am pleased we are through now and we have got ten days to see if we can get some people back on their feet and then get ready for the next contest.
“I think this particular window should give us time to see if Pennell can get back especially. He is probably the closest and then see where we are from there.
“We don’t have anyone else who can play full back so we need Penns to come in now. I don’t know (if he will be back in time), but not playing next week give us that bit of breathing space to be able to do that.”