Banned Dragon Jack De Belin has returned to training, per The Daily Telegraph.
However, it is understood that he has been training with the reserves and not yet with the top squad as he looks to regain full fitness.
The star forward has been stood down from playing under the NRL’s no-fault stand down policy as he awaits the verdict for his rape re-trial.
If found not guilty, De Belin could return as early as round nine, however, it is more likely he will be eased back into action through the reserve grades.
New Dragons coach Anthony Griffin told The Daily Telegraph in December: “For me personally he hasn’t been there for two years, he hasn’t been there since I have been here … so for me, it’s not like I am missing anything as a coach.
“He hasn’t been on the [playing] roster for two years and he’s never been on it while I have been here anyway in terms of planning what we are going to do because until he is allowed to play, I don’t want to spend any time on it.
“How he is integrated into the group after our Christmas break, we’d have to look at that … he’s got a lot more important things on his plate at the moment.”
EXCLUSIVE: Jack De Belin returns to @NRL_Dragons training for the first time since cancer surgery in September.
— Corey Hammond (@Corey_Hammo) January 15, 2021
The Dragons have struggled to replace the No. 13 jumper in his absence, trialling a host of other players at lock.
The club finished 13th on the ladder in 2020 in a disappointing campaign, firing coach Paul McGregor late in the season.
De Belin, 29, has agreed in principle to an extension with the Dragons pending the outcome of his trial later this year.
De Belin has played 154 NRL games all for the Red V since making his first-grade debut in 2011.