British & Irish Lions back row Sean O’Brien is hoping to prove his fitness before the end of the season and take his place on Ireland’s summer tour to Argentina.
O’Brien, who started the Lions’ final Test in Sydney last summer in place of injured captain Sam Warburton, suffered a shoulder problem over Christmas and has not played since.
He has returned to training however and believes he could return for Leinster before the end of their campaign.
"I don't know what Joe's [Schmidt] plans are (for Argentina) or anything like that,” he told the Irish Independent.
"I will have to speak to him about that and see what he's thinking if I am fit. I am presuming he is going to rest some lads going over there to keep them fresh for next year.
"I'm into my second week now of hard training. I'll know where I am in two more weeks. I'll probably know then exactly when I'll be coming back.
"I've just been doing a lot of running and strength and conditioning, trying to get back into reasonable shape to give myself the best chance of getting back at some point, either at the end of this year or in the summer."