Wales aim to have Faletau fit to face Boks
INJURY UPDATE: Wales have released Taulupe Faletau to English Premiership side Bath for their west country derby against Bristol on Friday.
They hope the game time will ensure he is fit enough to face South Africa in their final November international.
Back row forward Faletau has been sidelined since injuring his knee on club duty in September and has missed both of Wales's opening November internationals in Cardiff - with a 8-32 defeat by Australia followed by last weekend's narrow 24-20 win over Argentina.
By playing for Bath on Friday, Faletau will rule himself out of Wales's match against Japan on Saturday.
But if the No.8 comes through that match at Bath's Recreation Ground unscathed, he could be in line to feature for Wales against South Africa when they complete their end-of-year series the following weekend.
Faletau is set to rejoin the Wales squad next Monday.
"Taulupe has progressed excellently with his recovery and he has been released back to Bath this week to prepare for their game against Bristol on Friday," interim coach Rob Howley said.
"We have a good working relationship with Bath and our medical team, led by Prav [Mathema], have been working closely and in unison with the team at Bath," the former Wales and British and Irish Lions scrumhalf added.
"It is pleasing that Taulupe is in line to make his return for them this week and will link back up with us on Monday."