SHANE Monahan was far from pleased to see two teammates struck down by injury last weekend – but the Gloucester Rugby winger admits the timing couldn’t suit him much better.

The Irish speedster suffered a major setback in August, when he dislocated his shoulder in a pre-season defeat to Heineken Cup champions Toulon.

The 26-year-old has been forced to watch Gloucester Rugby make a hesitant start to the Aviva Premiership season from the treatment table.

And their task of climbing up the league was not made easier last weekend, when James Simpson-Daniel and Ryan Mills sustained long-term injuries in their LV= Cup win against Newcastle Falcons.

However, Monahan reluctantly conceded Simpson-Daniel’s absence could aid his imminent return to action in a strong Gloucester back line.

“You talk about timing,” he said. “I have been out for the last 13 or 14 weeks and I am literally just fit next week.

“It is one out and one back in straight away. There is massive competition, especially in the back three, at Gloucester.

“You never like to see that – two nasty injuries. The boys have been playing some great rugby as well and they were only coming back from long-term injuries.

“Sinbad is such an inspirational player in general, because of his experience. He brings so much to the table in that respect, as well as on the pitch.

“But we have got great players to step up and take it from where the lads left off.”

Monahan is raring to go, after a return to light training in recent weeks has given him a taste of what he has been missing this season.

And with a trip to Harlequins on Saturday, followed by clashes with Aviva Premiership champions Leicester Tigers and current leaders Saracens in the coming weeks, he will have to hit the ground running.

“At the beginning of this injury you can barely move your arms so you are just focusing on rehab, but it gets a bit harder when you are back out on the field and playing a bit of rugby,” he added.

“I can’t wait to get out and get some game time – there is still a lot of rugby to go this season. I am back and hopefully I will get some game time and get a chance to impress.

“You look at those fixtures – there are no easy games in this league and they just keep coming. We are really looking forward to the challenge because we know we are good enough to do it.”

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