But after speaking with current Scotland head coach Frank Hadden, Hines will be prepared to play in the Calcutta Cup.
After the three-week suspension for Scott Murray, Hadden has turned to the experience of the Perpignan player.
Family reasons would not allow Hines to return for the autumn Test series in November, but after speaking regularly with his ex-Edinburgh Gunners coach in recent weeks, he is now ready to return - to the delight of the Scotland boss.
Hadden said: "I have been in regular contact with Nathan since I took up the position of Scotland coach and he has made it clear to me, from our first conversation, his hunger to play for his country.
"There were a number of issues to overcome before we could see Nathan in a Scotland squad again - his relationship with his club and a number of personal circumstances.
"Nathan has confirmed to me today that he is now in a position to commit to be available for Scotland. A player of his ability can go into the selection mix."
Hines has not played for his country since the RBS 6 Nations defeat at Twickenham in 2005.
He said: "I'm excited to come back. Of course there's a bit of pressure but mostly excitement.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the boys and Frank again and I'm grateful to the club for their understanding."