THE Dragons will make a late decision about bringing back Cory Hill for Friday's clash with Worcester after 10 months on the sidelines.

The Wales lock has suffered injury frustration since suffering a blow to his left ankle when scoring the crucial try in the Six Nations win against England in Cardiff.

The 27-year-old recovered to take part in the World Cup training camp in Switzerland but a small stress fracture in his leg was then detected, ruling him out of a planned summer return against England.

Warren Gatland still named the 24-times capped forward in his World Cup squad but Hill, who had been Dragons captain under previous boss Bernard Jackman, returned home early from Japan after failing to recover.

The lock has been working towards a return since October and could now get back on the field in the crunch European Challenge Cup encounter with Worcester, potentially in the back row.

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"Cory is pretty close," said director of rugby Dean Ryan. "He is starting to spend more time on the training field, which makes him an option.

"Cory is frustrated after this summer and is desperate to get out there, I just want to make sure we get him out there at the right time because I don't want him to go backwards.

"It has been a long slog to get him to this place and the medical team have done some great work in getting him ready and right because chasing a World Cup across the summer has left him in quite a disadvantage.

"There is nothing stopping Cory playing (on Friday)… well there is, it's whether I select him! I haven't made my mind up yet but there is nothing stopping him running around and playing a game, which is great."

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The Dragons could also have a double boost with Brandon Nansen back in the mix for the first time since the Samoa international suffered a broken forearm in the pre-season win against the Scarlets.

"Brandon is on the training field and we are getting him up to speed, we will see," said Ryan.

“We are getting closer to having some options, which is nice. We will delay naming our team because there are lots of bumps and bruises. We are starting to get more people on the training field.”

The loss of the Test second rowers has put a heavy workload on starting second rowers Matthew Screech and Joe Davies, with 21-year-old bright prospect Max Williams their back-up.

The news is also promising about centre Tom Griffiths, who was forced from the field in the opening exchanges in Worcester.

The summer signing from Saracens had a summer operation on an existing ankle issue, made his debut in the Challenge Cup win against Castres in November but helped off at Sixways with a worrying-looking knee problem.

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"It's not as bad as we first thought, it's a pretty bad dead leg," said Ryan. "He was out for nine months so he is getting every injury out there, a hand stinger and now one on his knee.

"That's what happens when you come back but we are desperate to get him in just to understand what he can offer us."

Meanwhile, Ross Moriarty could return for the first festive derby against the Scarlets at Rodney Parade on Saturday, December 21.

The Wales back row forward has been out of action since the World Cup because of a virus that has led to dramatic weight loss.