Welsh rugby may be close to welcoming back one of its most gifted talents after George North posted a new video update charting his progress as he bids to return from a serious knee injury.

It's been five months since the Ospreys star ruptured the ACL in his right knee during a Pro14 Rainbow Cup clash against Cardiff in late April.

That blow ruled North out of contention for this summer's British and Irish Lions series in South Africa, having looked a shoo-in for his third tour after helping Wales win the 2021 Six Nations title.

The 29-year-old was "heartbroken" after learning he would require surgery, but the finish line is in sight after a long period of inactivity.

That's after North shared footage on Thursday of his first unassisted run since suffering the injury, a major boost for Ospreys coach Toby Booth and his Wales counterpart, Wayne Pivac.

North — who has around 425,000 Twitter followers — appeared alongside club and international team-mate Dan Lydiate, who is also recovering following knee surgery: "Running! Felt a little bit robotic but running none the less. FT my rehab buddy @dan_lydiate aka the Lead bear."

It's not the first time supporters may have seen North running since his injury, but the update he posted in August featured him on an anti-gravity treadmill.

The device is designed specifically to support the user's weight mid-run and ease the pressure on healing joints, but it's another boost altogether to see North bearing his weight independently.

There are few carriers in European rugby — or arguably in world rugby — who pose the same threat with ball in hand as a fit and healthy North, who has scored 43 tries in 102 outings for Wales.

George North shared footage of him running unassisted for the first time since April 2021 (

Image:

George North Instagram (@george_north))

Ospreys will also be desperate to welcome their winger-cum-centre star back for the inaugural United Rugby Championship.

Booth's men open their domestic season away to Dragons on Sunday, with five rounds scheduled to take place before a month-long break for the autumn internationals.

It would be all but impossible for North to feature for his country in those November Tests, however, with Pivac's side facing four tough fixtures against New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Fiji.

A more realistic target would be for North to resume club duties in time for the upcoming European Rugby Champions Cup campaign, which gets underway in early December.

George North described his motion as "robotic" but was rightly excited by his progress (

Image:

George North Instagram (@george_north))

Ospreys have two tough Pool A opponents in Sale Sharks and Racing 92, and having a talent like North among their options would be a major benefit to any hopes of advancing to the knockout stages.

A successful return at club level could then pave the way for a Wales comeback, with both North and Lydiate hoping to play a part in their Six Nations title defence.

Both players boast huge experience and can be transformational talents in their respective positions when fully fit.

Those levels may not be far off for North after reaching another significant milestone in his recovery, reaping the benefits from what's been a patient wait for his return to the training field.

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