IT’S another frustrating game on the sidelines for me tonight, but I am trying everything to ensure I will be back on the field as soon as possible.

As I said a fortnight ago, it was gutting to suffer an Achilles injury early in pre-season when there was so much excitement about a new regime.

Initially I was hoping to make the first game of the season but even though I’m making progress I’m still not quite there yet.

Sadly injuries are part and parcel of being a professional rugby player and over the years you get more experienced in terms of knowing when the right time to come back is.

I’ve not get a specific return date but I am getting closer to a return and I know that I’ve got to make sure I am in a position to do myself justice.

In the past I have perhaps come back too soon because no player likes missing out on games.

You can feel like a bit of a spare part in training when you are on the sidelines while the rest are going through patterns (something that is especially annoying to miss, because I’ll be playing catch-up when I get back).

Injured players are there for analysis and although you don’t want to tread on any toes, we’ve all been empowered this season and all of us have an important role to play, but you want to be talking things through after being in the thick of it.

I’ve come back at around 80 per cent before but if you’re not fully functional then you are not doing anyone any good.

If I’m honest the standards and demands of training under Bernard Jackman mean that I don’t think anybody could come back at 85 to 90 per cent any more – the volume of running and intensity would lead to you doing more harm than good.

I want to impress the new coach but I know I’ve just got to listen to the advice of the medical team and I am happy to try anything to get back as soon as possible.

One of the perks of the Welsh Rugby Union takeover is that we have more facilities at our disposal and I am able to use a special machine that helps tendon recovery.

It gives you electric shocks and it seems like more of a torture device than something to aid your recovery.

I was curious as well as anxious when I heard about it, especially as our resident medic Hallam Amos said he had heard that the pain from it was excruciating.

But I’d go to a witch doctor if it could help get me back out on the pitch, so I’m happy to do what I’m told and stick to the rehab programme that I’ve been given.

I write this from a recovery session at the Parkway in Cwmbran, using the steam room and pool to do a bit of stretching, and hopefully I will soon be back in the mix because we are a bit thin on the ground in the back row.

In all my time at the Dragons it has been an area of real strength and depth but I’m out of action and we’ve suffered a real blow with Nic Cudd set to be out for much of the season – he’s a real warrior and will be badly missed.

It meant that the starting back row for our first game of the season was James Thomas, James Benjamin and Harri Keddie with Max Williams making his debut off the bench,

They are talented players but take JT’s first season back at the Dragons out and they don’t have many starts between them.

It’s positive that they will be getting plenty of experience and opportunities but we’ll need a bit of luck with injuries through the rest of the season.

On that front it’s good that Ollie Griffiths is back tonight for what is a really big game for us against Connacht.

We are looking to get things rolling and it could be a really entertaining game because Connacht like to play a brand of expansive rugby and we want to do the same this season.

It will be on us as a pack throughout the season to carry hard and provide quick ball to set out backs loose because if we get Ashton Hewitt and Hallam Amos in space then they can cause plenty of problems.

l Adam Hughes mentioned in his first Argus column last week that I tend to mention The Lamb quite a bit.

I didn’t realise that I did that to be honest, although there will be the usual post-match Q&A in the pub this evening with South African players while there are discounted drinks for season ticket holders and matchday ticket holders…