Ruby Walsh will not make his long-awaited return to action this weekend.

The leading jockey has been sidelined since suffering a broken leg in a fall from Let's Dance at Punchestown on November 18, but has always maintained he would be back in time for the Cheltenham Festival.

Walsh revealed earlier this week that he had started riding out again, but his sister and agent Jennifer confirmed he will not be returning to the saddle competitively just yet.

Walsh said: "I spoke to Ruby on Thursday and he's not going to come back this weekend.

"He's fine and he's riding out. He'll keep riding out and he'll tell me when he's ready."

The next National Hunt fixture in Ireland is at Clonmel on Thursday ahead of meetings at Navan and Leopardstown the following Saturday and Sunday.

In Walsh's absence, Paul Townend has spent much of the season as number one rider for Willie Mullins, but he too has been out of action since suffering an ankle injury in a fall from Killultagh Vic in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on February 4.

The Irish Turf Club's senior medical officer, Dr Adrian McGoldrick, confirmed he is also close to a return.

He said: "I assessed Paul on Wednesday and the plan is for him to start riding out again on Monday with a view to hopefully returning to race riding next weekend."