Huw Bennett is set to return to action in mid-January. after suffering a fresh setback in his recovery from an ankle injury.
The Wales and Ospreys hooker had hoped to return for his region's clash with the Scarlets on 27 December. But Bennett has been told he is now unlikely to overcome a ligament problem until the middle of next month.
"It's been four weeks so far, it's just a question of looking after it really, it's a ligament injury so the less I do on it the better," he said. "It's not like a bone injury when they can tell you exactly when you're back, it's just resting it and taking it week-to-week."
Bennett missed the whole of the Invesco Perpetual Series after suffering his injury during the Ospreys' EDF Energy Cup defeat at London Irish on 2 November.
It was an unrelated ankle problem that forced him out of Wales' tour of South Africa in the summer after he had played a major role in the Grand Slam success of last season.
"Now it's just the focus of getting fit and getting back for the Ospreys and hopefully earn selection for the Six Nations," Bennett added.
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