Newport Gwent Dragons coach Darren Edwards has insisted crocked hooker Lloyd Burns will return from his injury lay-off a new man – but not in time for this season.
Burns pulled out at the 11th hour from last week’s RaboDirect PRO12 game against Ospreys with a neck problem that has been troubling him since returning from the World Cup.
The 27-year-old has since been diagnosed with a nerve problem and won’t be available for contact work for the next six weeks.
But while that prognosis may hint at a return to RaboDirect PRO12 action sooner rather than later Edwards insists otherwise and has urged the hooker to embrace his total rest from the game.
“Lloyd will make a full recovery and even though his absence is a really big blow for us as a team, the main priority is his future in the game,” said Edwards – who will now be forced to rely on 34-year-old Steve Jones, himself only just returned from a lay-off.
“We have told him that we are not concerned about this season now and we don’t want him to rush his recovery.
“Next season will roll around quickly and the important thing is that we have Lloyd back firing then.
“He plays in an extremely physical way around the park and so we don’t want to rush him back.
“He has had an excellent and very busy last 12 months and this will provide him with time to recharge his batteries and switch off mentally.”