Shane Williams close to surprise return for Ospreys

Shane Williams
Shane Williams has recovered sooner than expected from a knee injury

Shane Williams is set for a shock return from injury for the Ospreys before the end of the season.

Williams, 34, injured his knee in March playing for Wales and was expected to be out for three months.

But the wing hopes to play in his region's final game of the season in Italy on Friday, 6 May.

"I started running this week again and the knee feels great," he said. "I don't want to push it and make it worse but I'm aiming for the Aironi game."

Williams' season seemed to be over when he injured the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Ireland in Wales' 19-13 Six Nations win on 12 March.

A rest period of "eight to 12 weeks" was the diagnosis, which ruled him out the Ospreys' push to defend their Magners League title.

One win, a defeat and a draw since the end of the Six Nations has left the Ospreys, currently in fifth place, with an uphill task just to finish in the top four to secure an end-of-season play-off place.

Victories at home to Munster and then away to Aironi might not be enough, but Williams' return to fitness would certainly give them a huge boost if they went into the final weekend of the regular season needing a bonus-point victory in Italy to progress.

"We know Munster are a very good side," said Williams.

"They are very experienced and have been there or thereabouts for a number of years now. But we've certainly got the players and strength to beat them and it's a great game for us to go out and win.

"It'll give us confidence and hopefully we can go to Aironi and win that game as well."