THE Dragons expect their return to Guinness PRO14 action at Edinburgh to come too soon for Wales tighthead Leon Brown.

The 22-year-old was last month named by Warren Gatland in his squad for the Six Nations despite not having played since suffering a broken thumb at the start of December.

Brown, who has won five caps, is out of his cast and joined the Wales squad in their preparations for the tournament opener against France.

However, he has not travelled with the squad for their training camp in Nice ahead of Saturday's encounter with Italy in Rome.

The prop has instead been put through his paces with the Dragons but looks unlikely to feature in the PRO14 clash at Murrayfield a week on Friday despite the fixture being on a Six Nations rest week.

The decision rests with Wales but at this stage it appears Brown's thumb will not be up to match action.

Head coach Ceri Jones: "We will have to wait and see what the Wales management say. He has released back to us because they didn't take him to France while he is going through his rehab phase.

"They thought that would be better suited here because we have a bigger medical team than they have at the Vale at the moment.

"I have had no guidance from them but I spoke to Ben (Stirling, Dragons head of physiotherapy and medical services) and he says Leon is still quite weak in the thumb, because he is back before schedule.

"I will ask the question and if he progresses well then I would like to include him (against Edinburgh), but that will be with the approval of the Union.

"We will have to wait and see. It's probably a little too soon regarding the strength in his hand, Ben thinks it would be pushing it for that game.

"But Leon is there or thereabouts and is looking huge! It's nice to see his monstrous frame walking around the place and will be even nicer to see him on the field."

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The Dragons are also set to still be without former Wales prop Ryan Bevington, who has not featured since suffering a concussion in the win against the Ospreys at the end of December.

"We will be on the conservative side with Bevs," said Jones. "He has been to see a specialist and is going through that protocol, it will be a couple more weeks before he completes that.

"As I have said many times with any situation regarding the head, it is not something that we are prepared to rush.

"You have to be really diligent and the player has to be completely fine to play; you only have one head."

The Dragons signed Rhys Fawcett on loan from the Scarlets because of Bevington's absence and the 22-year-old was an unused replacement in the 8-7 loss to Munster at Rodney Parade when Jones left his starting front row of Brok Harris, Richard Hibbard and Lloyd Fairbrother on for the full 80 minutes.

"The Scarlets can call Rhys back if they need him but he is with us for the foreseeable future and I have been pleased with how he has progressed so far," said Jones.

"It was a really tight game against Munster and we were going pretty well in the scrum so didn't feel it was right to bring him on and went the whole hog with the players (in the front row). It wasn't anything against him, I just thought the boys were going well."

Loosehead Josh Reynolds has returned to training after a hamstring injury while Dan Suter and Nicky Thomas are the cover for tighthead Fairbrother.