Navidi in line for Connacht return

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Cardiff Blues are hopeful that Josh Navidi will be fit to face Connacht in Saturday’s first home game of the season, still at the temporary home of Rodney Parade.

The 29-year-old suffered a concussion in training and failed his return to play protocols last week, causing him to sit out the 6-16 win away at Zebre, but the noises were positive about him being back for the visit of the Irish side. He would likely slot straight back in at number eight with Josh Turnbull set for a few weeks ban due to his red card.

There is worse news for two other players in John Mulvihill’s squad though, with Owen Lane and Rhys Gill set for extended spells in the treatment room.

Winger Lane hasn’t played since suffering a significant hamstring tear in Wales training ahead of the Six Nations earlier this year, and then missed out on the two Welsh derbies in August after picking up a slight groin problem.

The 22-year-old’s luck hasn’t got any better now, after a shoulder injury in training that is set to keep him out for up to six weeks, making him unavailable for Wales’ Autumn squad and much of the first block of Pro14 games.

Gill has also suffered an injury in training, with a bicep tear that is going to keep him out for around four months. That could cause a problem for Mulvihill with Rhys Carre likely to be selected in the Wales squad, leaving him with just Corey Domachowski and Brad Thyer as available senior looseheads. It is unclear if Theo Bevacqua has made the move from London to Cardiff as of yet.

However, there is better news for Mason Grady as the young winger’s ankle issue is only set to keep him out for two-to-three weeks, potentially seeing him available for the first Monday night fixture away at Munster.

Little is known about Jason Harries (knee), Keiron Assiratti (ankle) or Will Boyde (calf), all of whom were listed as injured in the Zebre team announcement, while Liam Belcher will be assessed this week after limping off early on Friday night.

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