Cardiff Blues: Wales prop Dillon Lewis makes remarkable recovery from neck injury

Cardiff Blues prop Dillon Lewis has won 28 caps for Wales
Cardiff Blues prop Dillon Lewis has won 28 caps for Wales
Challenge Cup: London Irish v Cardiff Blues
Venue: Brentford Community Stadium Date: Fri, 2 April Kick-off: 17:30 BST
Coverage: Live commentary BBC Sport website and app.

Wales prop Dillon Lewis admits he is grateful for his remarkable recovery from a neck injury that threatened to end his season.

Lewis was released from the Six Nations squad in February and expected to be ruled out for the 2020-21 campaign.

Instead the 25-year-old has recovered and in line to face London Irish in the Challenge Cup last 16 game.

"I am back to full strength now, I am just glad to be back fit and playing," said Lewis.

The tighthead prop had left the Wales Six Nations squad after the opening two Six Nations victories against Ireland and Scotland.

"The injury was meant to be a lot longer than what it turned out to be," added Lewis.

"It was a disc sitting on a nerve, so it took the strength away from my left pec, my left tricep and they forecast that being three months.

"It turned out to be three weeks instead. So I made a miraculous recovery basically.

"It was just one of those freak things that I don't think anyone has got the answer to.

"I couldn't tell you. It was just something where one week I couldn't bench press 10kgs and two weeks later I was bench pressing 40kgs. It just sort of turned around really rapidly.

"It was a massive relief. I left Wales thinking that was the end of my season. So I was over the moon."

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After being heavily involved in the 2019 Grand Slam and World Cup semi-finals sides, Lewis was not involved in the match-day squads for Wales this season with Tomas Francis and Leon Brown preferred.

"It was frustrating," added Lewis.

"You don't want to go in and be third choice, but that's professional sport.

"There are a lot of ups and downs and a lot to learn from it.

"I had a few tough conversations and know what my work-ons are to improve and put my foot in the door again.

"I can't go into too much detail, but the most important thing is playing week-in, week out.

"It's been quite a difficult year with Covid-19 and a few other reasons. I've just got to concentrate on trying to play the best I can."

Lewis believes he can return to the Wales match-day squad.

"My opinion is different to someone else's," he added.

"You can only go off what they are saying, so if they want to see more from me, I am going to have to go away and try and give them more. That's all I can do.

"I have had a fair bit of experience and exposure at international rugby and I would love to get back there and be a regular back in that matchday squad.

"That's what I am striving towards, but it all starts here at the Blues.

"It's about establishing myself as first choice here and starting week-in, week-out. That's my goal.

"All I can concentrate on is playing well for Cardiff Blues. Form is one thing that is going to get me knocking back on the door with Wales.

"If I can play well here, hopefully I will put my hand up to get named for the summer Tests."

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