Exeter Chiefs forward James Phillips set for Plymouth Albion loan
Exeter Chiefs back-row forward James Phillips could be set for a spell at Championship side Plymouth Albion after recovering from a serious knee injury.
The 25-year-old damaged his knee in Chiefs' Aviva Premiership victory over Saracens at Sandy Park in September.
Former Bristol player Phillips is now nearing a return to action but the intense competition for places at Chiefs means he may leave the club on loan to gain full match fitness.
Head coach Rob Baxter said: "Our injury situation is looking pretty good. Brett Sturgess, Chris Whitehead, James Hanks and Dave Ewers are all back in full training, whilst the likes of Dean Mumm, Jason Shoemark and Hoani Tui - guys who missed the last Premiership round - are also up and running.
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"At the same time, James Phillips is pretty much there now having been out for a long time and we may get him some game time away from the club. We completed a loan deal with Plymouth for him before the deadline and he's been down there training with them this week, so there is a possibility he may get some game time down the line if they want him to play.
"The key thing is he's close to playing again, so that's fantastic. With any long-term injury it's always great to see the player back playing again."