Scotland forward Hamish Watson has returned to training with Edinburgh after being out of action since November because of a head injury. However, he is still a few weeks away from being able to make a comeback, according to the capital club’s assistant coach Stevie Lawrie.

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair said last month that Watson was on schedule to return to playing around the start of February, and although the 31-year-old’s return to training is clearly a positive sign, Lawrie suggested the time frame was unchanged.

“He’s towards the latter stages of his return to play,” he said yesterday. It’s a gradual return-to-play process, and he’ll just need to keep ticking off the different elements from low-level activity, which he’s been doing, right the way up to full contact and getting through a few weeks of training. We want to make sure that he’s right. When he’s ready and the physios feel he’s ready, then he’ll be put out there.”

Watson is one of a dozen players on Edinburgh’s injury list, and Lawrie does not expect any of them to be back to face Castres in Sunday’s Champions Cup pool game in France. However, the four senior internationals who were rested last week against Zebre – Grant Gilchrist, Willem Nel, Jamie Ritchie and Pierre Schoeman – are expected to take part.

A losing bonus point in France could prove enough for Edinburgh to qualify for the last 16 of the Champ-

ions Cup, but Lawrie said: “This is an opportunity to qualify for the knockout stages of Europe, so for us it’s really exciting to go to Castres. We know how big a challenge that is. We like going to France, we like playing there, so let’s be positive about our prospects out there.”