Lions flyer Tommy Bowe has handed Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations hopes a major boost by returning to full training.
Bowe is back training with the Ospreys and could feature in the Magners League clash with Benetton Treviso on Saturday.
That would give Bowe the chance to prove his fitness and regain his place in Ireland’s squad ahead of their clash with Scotland on February 27.
Bowe has not featured since picking up a knee problem in January and missed Ireland’s Championship showdowns against Italy and France.
"We've been monitoring Tommy very closely over the last month, as well as being in close consultation with the IRFU management regards his progress," said Ospreys head physio Chris Towers.
"He has made considerable progress over the last couple of weeks, up to the point where we've been able to get him up to high level functional sessions without any adverse reactions.
"As such, we're looking to reintroduce Tommy to team training this week with a view to making him available for selection on Saturday. If everything is positive, he will then be able to return to Ireland camp and be involved in their remaining Six Nations fixtures."
Bowe was one of the stars of the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa and played in all three Test matches. In total the Ulsterman played in six games and scored four tries.