Ian Whitten: Exeter Chiefs back in race to be fit for Premiership play-offs

Ian Whitten is treated for a broken hand against London Irish
Ian Whitten has been an ever-present for Exeter in the Premiership and Champions Cup this season

Exeter Chiefs back Ian Whitten is facing a race against time to be fit for the Premiership play-offs.

The 30-year-old broke his hand during Exeter's 45-5 win over London Irish.

Northern Ireland-born Whitten has been a stalwart in the Chiefs' attack for the past few seasons, featuring either at centre or on the wing.

"He's putting himself through as much as he possibly can, he's going to give himself the best shot he can," Exeter head coach Ali Hepher told BBC Sport.

"We'll give him that time and see how he progresses over the next couple of weeks."

This season Whitten has featured in each of Exeter's 20 Premiership matches - starting 17 - as well as starting all six of the Chiefs' European Champions Cup games.

"The prognosis is it might be tight, but if anyone can get back ahead of schedule it'll be 'Whits' because he's thoroughly professional," added Hepher before Exeter's penultimate league game of the season at home to Sale.

"What he brings is the physicality at pace, and you shouldn't underestimate his skill level, he's got the ability to move the ball into the right spaces.

"He leads various different stages of our defence as well and he's a driven individual, he wants to win at everything he plays in."

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