Brian O’Driscoll has handed Leinster and Ireland a major boost aftet returning to training.
The three-time Lions tourist has been sidelined since injuring his ankle against Cardiff Blues in October.
He subsequently missed Ireland’s autumn campaign and Leinster’s recent Heineken Cup matches.
But he is nearing a return to action and Declan Kidney is hoping his star centre will be fit and firing for the Six Nations.
Ireland kick-off their tournament against Wales on February 2.
O’Driscoll’s involvement in the Championship would also enhance his own hopes of being selected for next year’s Lions tour.
Leinster also hope to welcome fellow former Lions Rob Kearny and Luke Fitzgerald back to action in the coming weeks.