British & Irish Lion Taulupe Faletau is set to start 2015 with a clean bill of health after Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones confirmed the back-row forward does not require surgery.
It was initially feared that Faletau, who appeared seven times on tour for the Lions in 2013, had suffered another setback to his left ankle after he limped off in the Dragons’ pre-Christmas victory over Zebre.
But, despite sitting out of the Boxing Day win against Cardiff Blues, the Wales No.8 could be back in the Dragons’ starting XV on New Year’s Day.
Still only 24, Faletau has made an impact at every level of rugby so far – and Jones is confident he will not be hampered by injury heading into the New Year.
“It seems he tweaked an ankle. The specialist he saw said it was nothing major and for ‘Toby’ to see how it goes,” Jones told Wales Online.
“Sometimes there’s a rush for players to have surgery but it was decided to wait for it to settle down.
“Toby has trained. He’s done some running on it under the guidance of our medical staff and conditioning team. We haven’t ruled him out of the New Year’s Day derby with Cardiff Blues at Rodney Parade.”