Taulupe Faletau could still play in the Guinness Six Nations after scans revealed his second arm fracture of the season does not require surgery.
The Wales No.8 made his comeback after an initial fracture in Bath’s Champions Cup clash with Wasps at the weekend, playing the full 80 minutes.
However, he later discovered a further hairline fracture around a screw that fastens a metal plate to his right forearm – sparking fears he could miss the entire Championship.
But scans have confirmed Faletau will not need a second operation and Bath director of rugby Todd Blackadder believes he could play a part later down the line, with Wales’ two final games against Scotland and Ireland a potential target.
“Your heart goes out to Toby. I thought it showed what a class player he is to come back after so long out and be voted man of the match by his team-mates,” Blackadder said.
“He must have got hit right on the point of the screw. It’s really unfortunate but he won’t need any more surgery.
“It’s within the four-to-six weeks range, but obviously if something goes wrong it’s a little longer. We’re really hopeful that it’s in that timeline.”
Wales play on the Championship’s opening night when they travel to Paris to face France, before heading to Rome for a clash with Italy a week later.
They host England in an eagerly-awaited match-up in Round 3 before their last two games in Scotland and at home to Ireland.