British & Irish Lions hopeful Mike Tindall could begin his comeback in Bath’s Zurich Premiership clash against Leeds on Saturday.
The England World Cup-winning centre has been sidelined since December, which meant he missed the entire Six Nations Championship.
But Tindall, who will leave Bath to join west country rivals Gloucester this summer, is now ready for a possible Recreation Ground return.
The 26-year-old could be added to Sir Clive Woodward’s 44-man Lions squad for New Zealand if he proves his fitness after being ruled out with a serious foot injury.
"Mike will not start against Leeds, but he could be involved on the bench,’ said Bath coach John Connolly.
"He is making excellent progress, and we will make a decision on his selection on Friday morning.
"We would like him to play, because it could be his last game at The Rec in Bath colours and he has given us tremendous service."
A Bath victory over Leeds should be enough to secure third place, and a title play-off encounter against Leicester or Wasps on Saturday week, which could extend Tindall’s career with the Powergen Cup finalists.
Realistically, though, Tindall’s Lions hopes are hanging by a thread as the clock continues to tick down towards the Lions’ departure date on May 25.
Bath prop Matt Stevens, meanwhile, is due to see a specialist in London on Thursday after suffering a knee injury during the Premiership victory over London Irish last Sunday.
Initial fears were that Stevens, who will not face Leeds, could struggle to make the Lions tour, but he is optimistic his injury not as bad as first feared.