THE Dragons will adopt a cautious approach with Jordan Williams after boss Dean Ryan admitted they “pushed it a little” in his return from ruptured knee ligaments.

The 27-year-old, the Rodney Parade region’s most potent runner, has not featured since scoring a double against Zebre in the Guinness PRO14 on October 9.

Williams had made a swift recovery from an anterior cruciate ligaments injury suffered against Enisei-STM in Krasnodar in November, 2019.

He was a surprise inclusion in the XV for the European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Bristol in September and then, after sitting out the PRO14 opener at Leinster, showed his class against Zebre.

His tally of four clean breaks in that solitary fixture means he is third on the Dragons list for the season behind wing Ashton Hewitt (eight) and scrum-half Rhodri Williams (six).

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However, Williams then suffered what director of rugby Ryan called “tightness in his leg” and then a hamstring injury.

The Dragons medical staff are working with the side-stepping full-back to ensure that he can finish the 2020/21 PRO14 strongly leading into the Rainbow Cup.

A return in the Champions Cup fixture against Wasps in Coventry is possible, leading into the rearranged league meetings with Edinburgh and Connacht in Newport.

“It's unrealistic to think that a high-speed athlete like Jordan is going to come back from an ACL and then play 15 games on the bounce,” said Ryan.

“We probably pushed it a little bit in terms of him then injuring a hamstring and this time we might be a bit more cautious.

“We recognise the games that we have got stacking up in February with the potential of how the PRO14 will end. We have got one eye on that.”

Four players have worn 15 on their back this season – Williams once, Will Talbot-Davies twice, Jonah Holmes three times and Josh Lewis four times.

Fly-half Lewis returned to his specialist position in the festive derby defeats to Cardiff Blues and the Scarlets because of Sam Davies’ calf injury with Holmes at full-back.

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However, the Wales international suffered a concussion in Llanelli that led to Owen Jenkins moving to 15 from the wing in the first half.

The Wales sevens speedster could start in that position against the Ospreys on Saturday with Rio Dyer, Daf Howells and the fit-again Jared Rosser, who suffered a concussion in Bordeaux-Begles, options to come into the back three.

The reshuffle at Parc y Scarlets led to Wales centre Nick Tompkins moving to the wing when Aneurin Owen came on to partner Jack Dixon in midfield.

Former Wales and Lions centre Jamie Roberts is back in contention to face the Ospreys after having to self-isolate last week because he came into close contact with a community coronavirus transmission.