Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones has admitted he fears promising wing Ashton Hewitt’s career could be threatened by concussion.
Hewitt has not played since Dragons hosted Ospreys on 1 January, 2017.
Jones says the 22-year-old is training regularly, but is unable to “back it up” by playing.
“He wakes up with a slight headache after a bit of training. It’s not that he’s in pain I don’t think but he has to be symptom free,” said Jones.
“And it can take a while, can’t it?”
In May, 2015 Dragons centre after “a series of concussive events”.
In September, 2016, wing was also forced to quit because of a head injury.
When asked if Hewitt’s career could be under threat, Jones referred to the experience of another Dragons back, Adam Hughes, who returned to the fray after a long absence this season.
Jones said: “I’ve been asked is it the end of careers – who knows?
“I mean we’ve seen Adam Hughes, he’s come back and lots of other players have, but it’s a sensitive situation and it has to be right.
“So we’ve got to make sure that he’s 100% comfortable and feeling great.”
Hewitt was named in Wales’ 2017 Six Nations squad after impressing for Dragons, but having been absent for four months, he is unlikely to be considered for a summer tour in which they play Samoa and Tonga.
Jones is more concerned that Hewitt returns only when passed fit.
He said: “We have to make sure players are correct, but some players go through the tests and pass them and then they still have symptoms which means headaches and stuff after physical training.
“So, all we can do is wait until that player is symptom-free.”