(Reuters) - England lock Maro Itoje could return to the squad for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Wales despite being initially ruled out of the game in Cardiff, defence coach John Mitchell has said.
Itoje sustained a knee ligament injury during England's 32-20 victory over defending champions Ireland in their opener in Dublin and missed the 44-8 win over France.
When asked if Itoje could recover in time to play a part this weekend, Mitchell said: "Definitely, he's certainly progressing really well.
"I'll leave that to the medical team and the boss (Eddie Jones), but we're very encouraged by what we see."
Mitchell also confirmed winger Chris Ashton, who suffered a calf strain, would not return until their penultimate game against Italy on March 9.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)