And after six months on the sidelines inevitably it was going to take time for the back-row forward to find his feet again.
But with less than two months to go until Warren Gatland picks his British and Irish Lions squad for the tour to Australia Lydiate is still dreaming of a spot on the plane.
"My focus is on getting fit and trying to build on my performances to have a good run at the end of the season with the Dragons," he said.
"Going on the Lions tour would mean the same to me as it would mean to any other player - it is the dream. But that is the last thing on my mind. If you focus too far ahead, it is typical that something will happen and you'll get injured or lose form.
"I was so nervous ahead of the Ospreys game, but I'm so happy to be back. It was a big confidence-booster to be back on the pitch.
"I'm definitely not match fit, but felt strong in the contact. It was just timing and match sharpness I lacked. I tried a few leg chops and slipped off, but hopefully it will come.
"It's about what I do on the pitch. Actions speak louder than words. For any chance of me going I need to find my form pretty quickly.
"Whatever jersey I put on, especially the Dragons and Wales, I always wear my heart on my sleeve and give 110%.There's massive pride and I will be going all out until the end of the season."