Edinburgh hand Lewis Carmichael first start in more than a year

Lewis Carmichael, centre, suffered concussion and then a freak training ground accident
Lewis Carmichael, centre, suffered concussion and then a freak training ground accident
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Scotland cap Lewis Carmichael is set to play in his first match in more than a year this Saturday when Edinburgh Rugby take on the Ospreys in a pre-season friendly.

Rewind to the summer of 2018 and things could not have been going better for the second-row/back-row forward from North Berwick.

He had just earned his first two full international caps against Canada, and the USA, but then disaster struck.

The former Melrose player, who also had a spell in Australia, missed the start of the 2018/19 season with concussion and then slipped in a freak accident in training and ruptured his ACL in December.

That knee issue required surgery in early January and since then he has been working hard with Edinburgh’s medical staff to get back to full fitness.

He was not quite ready to play in the first pre-season match with London Scottish on August 31, but the 24-year-old is set to be involved against the Ospreys at BT Murrayfield this weekend.

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill said: “Lewis will play at the weekend.

“Lewis had a knee operation in January, but he has recovered from that and has been training hard and is looking good.”

As well as Carmichael’s return, Edinburgh supporters can expect to see new signings Jamie Bhatti and Ruan Steenkamp getting their first run-outs for the club.

Bhatti, a loosehead prop, has joined the club from Glasgow Warriors and just missed out on World Cup selection with Scotland while South African back-row Steenkamp arrived last week on a short-term deal.

The wait continues to see Fijian duo Mesulame Kunavula and Eroni Sau though with Cockerill saying: “Kunavula is still recovering from a shoulder operation and he should be fit for the start of the season, but isn’t ready to play yet and Eroni Sau is still waiting on his visa. He has a wife and three kids so it takes a bit of processing.

“We played half a [training] game against Scotland, we had Georgia in [training] with us last Wednesday and we had London Scottish up before the Ospreys so these work outs will do us well come the season.”