DRAGONS fly-half Gavin Henson is set to return to full training this week after three months out with a knee injury, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 36-year-old former Wales and Lions playmaker started the Guinness PRO14 opener against Benetton after impressing in the final pre-season friendly against Gloucester.

However, he has been unable to add to that appearance because of a persistent knee issue that led to him seeing a specialist.

The absence of Henson and Arwel Robson (ankle) led to the Dragons bringing in Jason Tovey on permit from Cross Keys because of Josh Lewis’ struggles after his summer arrival from Bath.

However, Henson is now close to a return and the experienced number 10 is set to be an option for the festive derbies against Cardiff Blues, the Ospreys and Scarlets.

“Gavin is expected to begin full training this week and his progress will be monitored to maximise the chances of a permanent return,” read a Dragons medical bulletin.

Lewis wore 10 on his back in Saturday’s 48-14 loss to Northampton at Franklin’s Gardens when the Dragons were hit by injury blows to hooker Richard Hibbard and back row forwards Harri Keddie and Ollie Griffiths.

Hibbard and Keddie (both concussion) are expected to be in contention for Saturday’s Challenge Cup trip to Clermont Auvergne (kick-off 1pm) after going through return to play protocols but Griffiths is waiting for results of a scan on his right knee.

Winger Jared Rosser is still sidelined by concussion but the Dragons will be boosted by the return of Wales internationals lock Cory Hill, hooker Elliot Dee, back row forwards Ross Moriarty and Aaron Wainwright and centre Tyler Morgan.