2009 Lion Ross Ford is confident he will return to fitness ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations campaign.
The Edinburgh hooker, who captained the country in last season’s Championship, has been sidelined for the past month.
Ross suffered the latest in a string of stingers in the festive derby with Glasgow Warriors.
But he has returned to training with Scotland and hopes to prove his fitness in time for the opening clash with England on February 2.
“I got a number of stingers over a six-week period from the autumn Tests to then,” said Ford.
“It got gradually worse and I lost strength in one arm, so I had to take a break.
“You watch the team playing and not winning and feel you could do something if you got out there, so it’s frustrating, but the shoulder feels a lot better now and everybody’s hopeful that I’ll at least be fit for selection for the Six Nations.”
While Ford skippered Scotland under Andy Robinson he knows that may not be the case in interim head coach Scott Johnson’s reign.
But his priority remains on getting back on the pitch in time for the Calcutta Cup clash with the auld enemy.
“It was a great honour to captain Scotland and I enjoyed it,” said Ford, who made six appearances for the Lions in South Africa.
“So if asked I would be delighted to do it again. But I just want to get back playing at my best and improving my game.
“A hooker is always in the spotlight for lineout throwing, and I’ve been working very hard on it.
“The lineout and the scrum will be big against England. It’s where we can really attack them from, and they will try to take us on with their driving lineouts.”
“We’ve moved to a different team, different set-up, different training and there’s a freshness guys draw confidence from.
“Get the head down, work hard and then prove that you deserve to be selected. That’s how I see things, anyway, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in again.”