But the versatile back impressed against Connacht Rugby after being pressed into action late in the day - after already doing a hard morning training session.
"Chris Pennell coming back was the biggest bonus, particularly the manner in which it happened," said Ruddock.
"Rico Gear had a calf strain so dropped out. He did the team run yesterday and seemed to be fine, but was forced out before the game with a reaction.
"Marcel Garvey was standing by to play, but he unfortunately was suffering from the flu and cold symptoms so he couldn't play either.
"Chris Pennell had been in the gym in the morning and had been running with our conditioners. He had been pretty well drilled in the morning, but we had to get him showered up and in the team so that was a great effort from him.
"He looked pretty much back to some great form, looked strong and committed and it was a big bonus that he went 50 minutes before cramping up, on the back of a tough session this morning.
"There were a few other positives to come out of the game. Matthew Jones got back out on the field and Olivier Sourgens got 40 minutes under his belt. Those were a couple of small positives.
"I'm keen to get Olivier more game time and exposure so he can take some weight and pressure off Tevita Taumoepeau in the second half of the season."