NEWPORT Gwent Dragons expect to have influential lock Rob Sidoli back by the time the Pro12 returns after scans revealed the damage to his injured shoulder is not as bad as was first feared.

The 33-year-old did not come out for the second half of the region’s LV= Cup win against Ospreys on Saturday after suffering a bang to his left AC joint.

The former Wales second row will miss Sunday’s game at London Welsh but is scheduled to be back in the mix for the Pro12 clash with Treviso at Rodney Parade on Friday, Feb-ruary 8.

“It’s a big relief because we anticipated the lay-off would be a lot longer,” said director of rugby Robert Beale.

“Rob has a wealth of experience and is on top of his game, so it’s a major boost. (Lock) Ian Nimmo only came back from injury last week and it seems to be our luck that one player returns and another is ruled out, but at least injury isn't too bad.”

Adam Hughes is also likely to miss Sunday’s game at London Welsh after feeling a slight hamstring twinge against the Ospreys.

Like Sidoli, the 22-year-old centre failed to emerge for the second half as a precaution.

Meanwhile, wing Mike Poole is expected to be out for at least three months after fracturing his left leg against the Ospreys.

The 26-year-old, who has had both knees reconstructed, fell awkwardly when tackled. He had an operation on Sunday and has had a plate inserted into his leg.