IT was great to see eight Dragons with Wales last week, a sign that the strength of our squad is improving and that the direction we are now taking is allowing boys to show their capabilities.

Taine Basham was called up by Wayne Pivac, the latest product of the academy to come through and light up the attack with an incredible seven tries in nine games this season.

He took the total of our back row forwards away with the national squad to four and it’s frustrating that I can’t be out there on the training field battling with them for a start at Worcester tomorrow.

I ruptured my left bicep in training ahead of the Glasgow game at the end of October and, like with so many injuries, it was such an innocuous incident in a contact session.

One of our young, keen centres hit a great angle and I overstretched in desperation to recover, I felt the horrible double pop and I knew something had happened.

When the bicep is tense and you get caught at the wrong angle these injuries can happen, whether you’ve got arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger or mine…

I was soon sent to a specialist in Manchester, the same surgeon that operated on Harri Keddie and Aaron Jarvis last season, and he is one of the best in his field.

They drill through your radial bone and put in a metal button. Along with my 2015 wrist construction and shoulder reconstruction years before that, it feels like I’m a bionic man down my left side.

Recovery has been going well even though I have a little bit of pain four weeks down the line. I am confident I’m on the road to recovery and this I am also reassured by Keddie and Jarvis that’s normal.

South Wales Argus:

The job that was done on them gives me optimism that I can come back well from it in the new year, ready to play my part in the second half of the season.

To say that I am frustrated by the timing of the injury is an understatement because it was a long old pre-season but it was probably the best I’ve had to date with regards to content and volume. I was feeling fit and strong with no minor setbacks for a change.

All pre-season I had it in my mind that I’d be doubling up as a second row and I was up to 18.5st because of that.

I started the season in my normal position of the back row and lost half a stone, so I was feeling lighter on my joints and therefore a lot fresher and a lot more mobile.

After probably being a bit too heavy, I was comfortable with my weight and then sod’s law I get injured.

Now I’ve just got to get stuck into the rehab so that I can come back strongly in a few months.

It’s been a long few weeks since the injury but I will start the proper work soon, starting on baby weights and working to be pain-free and get a full range of movement.

I’ve tried to stay as constructive as I can by helping out with a bit of lineout work and looking at our opposition but you definitely lose the connection with the starting team when injured.

You are put on a different schedule and get out of their way when they are in the gym to stop it being overcrowded, then you head to the gym when they are out there on the field.

I’m a rugby player, not a weights lifter, so I miss being on the pitch massively and I’m not rebound for my patience and the physios know that I can be a challenge and have to keep me interested!

I suppose I am lucky that this season is a long one, going through all the way to the end of May.

I’m gutted to miss the festive derbies but there is still plenty of rugby to be played and I will be back in the mix and can look forward to games during the Six Nations.

And hopefully we will be involved in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals and the boys did brilliantly to take maximum points from the first block against Castres and Enisei-STM.

That’s put us in a good position for the double-header against Worcester but we know that they are a tough side, especially on their own patch.

Like all English sides they always have a resilient pack but they also have a bit of spark behind that can impress on their plastic pitch.

A few of the boys will be back after being on Wales duty and fingers crossed they can help us respond to the disappointment of the defeat to Zebre.