Danny Cipriani will not feature for Bath this season according to director of rugby Stuart Hooper.
With Champions Cup qualification still on the line for Bath, Hooper maintained the coaching staff would not be rushing Cipriani into action having not played a game since he left Gloucester last November.
The 16-Test England fly-half has signed a one-year contract with Bath which will span the conclusion of the current season as well as 2021-22.
And after arriving at the club’s headquarters at Farleigh House earlier month, Cipriani’s debut has been an eagerly-awaited prospect.
But, for now, the 33-year-old will be left to watch on from the stands.
Hooper said: “He has come in and as we planned he is building himself back up in the programme, he is not in full rugby yet but he is doing skills.
“He is having an input around the place and talking about his experiences and his views on things.
“He is working to a point where he will be ready to go at the start of next season.”
Defeat to Sale Sharks last time in the Premiership dropped Bath out of the top eight in the league standings, leaving them vulnerable to missing out of Champions Cup rugby next season.
Bath now have three fixtures – Harlequins, Gloucester and Northampton – to ensure they are competing in Europe’s premium cup competition.
“It is absolutely our objective to finish in the top eight, in the Champions Cup is where we want to be and we have got three games to do that against some decent opposition, two away, one at home.
“That is the objective and we would rather be talking about other objectives at this time of year but that is where we are and that is the focus.”