Scotland Centre Alex Dunbar back in World Cup contention following rehab
Scotland centre Alex Dunbar believes his World Cup dream is alive following three weeks he spent in the USA working with world-renowned rehabilitation specialist Bill Knowles
The 25-year old, who is recovering from a long-lasting knee injury, is now seeming self-assured that he will be able to get back to full fitness in time for when Vern Cotter names his final squad for the World Cup in September
Dunbar was injured on the training field two days before Scotland were due to take on England in the Six Nations in March, rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, which after an initial scan revealed he could be out between six and nine months.
Since returning to British shores he has re-joined the Scotland squad, nevertheless is still training on his own as he awaits the all-clear to join his teammates again in the coming weeks.
“This is my first chance to play in the World Cup. If I can keep pushing and progressing well, it could hopefully be a dream come true.” Admitted Dunbar, who has won 14 caps for Scotland.
“That’s the hope just now. It’s going well, I feel quite positive now and hopefully I can make it.
“I have still got to see the specialist and still got a lot of fitness work and conditioning to get through before I’m fit to take part in full training.
“I’m happy where I am at the moment but I know there are still a lot of boxes to tick before I can get back out playing.”
But Dunbar also spoke positively of Knowles, who is a man who has helped sports stars such as Jonny Wilkinson and Tiger Woods over the years.
“It was a good three weeks. I was doing a lot of reconditioning stuff, getting back into some basic movements and things are progressing along nicely,” explained the Glasgow warrior centre.
“Bill had obviously worked with Jonny Wilkinson, Tiger Woods and lots of skiers in the past, there is quite a long list of sportsmen and women he has helped so I was excited to go over there.
“He just concentrates on doing things really well and it helped a lot being out there. I got back up to normal running, change of direction stuff and the strength I have built up in my legs over the last three weeks has really helped.
“I feel really ready to do some serious conditioning and make progress pretty quickly now.”
Since the Annan-born player earned his first full cap against Samoa in 2013, he has gone on to become a key man for Scotland, certainly in attack, scoring four tries.
And he failed to disguise his excitement at being back on the training pitch.
“It’s been tough being in the gym just doing rehab so to get the boots back on and be able to run about again was a great psychological boost,” explained Dunbar.
“It’s good to be back in with all the boys. Obviously I can’t do the same sessions they are all doing but I’m just off to the side doing the band stuff myself and working with the physios trying to keep pressing along.
“The plan is to pick up a few things from training and meet some of the new boys. It’s good to be part of it, it keeps you going along.”