Haskell reveals a flabby torso as he starts his battle on his way back
James Haskell will be a big miss for both Wasps and England at the start of this season as he continues his recovery from a toe injury.
But the tough-tackling flanker has been putting in the hard yards in the gym as he continues his recovery from the surgery he had after being ruled out of England's third Test win over Australia earlier this summer.
Haskell was named man of the series in the clean sweep over the Wallabies, the 31-year-old producing barnstorming displays in the first and second Tests. His abrasive ball carrying and ferocious tackling was at the heart of the success of Eddie Jones' men before he was ruled out of the third game of the series injured.
The former Stade Francais man has been rejuvenated under the leadership of Jones but remains on the sidelines with the new Aviva Premiership season set to get underway next weekend.
Haskell's injury, which is set to keep him out for between four to six months, will mean he's unlikely to be unavailable for England's four autumn internationals.
In his absence, lock Joe Launchbury has been named Wasps captain for the new campaign, taking over leadership duties from Haskell.
With the return of club rugby around the corner, Haskell has been confined to the gym as part of his recovery process and posted a quick picture of him after one session to his Instagram page.
Following a long time on the sidelines, Haskell has allowed himself to balloon to 19 stone and has admitted he is touch out of shape.
He captioned the picture: 'Rig is in tatters post op and holiday. Id never normally post a bad photo, but I wanted to show my starting point.
'I am back in training and working to get myself back in shape.'
Writing on his personal blog, Haskell added: 'The idea is to come back fitter, more mobile and powerful.
'I have enjoyed my down time and allowed myself to put on weight and sadly not good weight at that.'
Haskell's return to action is likely to be scheduled for around Christmas time in what is a blow to Dai Young's Wasps side.
As for England, there will be no shortage of candidates to replace Haskell in Jones' outfit. Young Northampton Saints back-rower Teimana Harrison toured with the Red Rose for the first time this summer but struggled to make an impression while Sam Underhill of the Ospreys was in consideration before injury and eligibility issues struck.
It means Chris Robshaw is likely to shift from seven to six for the November games with South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia, with Jack Clifford a potential starter on the openside.