British and Irish Lions prop Alex Corbisiero is expected back in action before the end of the season with Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder already preparing for his return.
Corbisiero has been on the sidelines since November after undergoing surgery for a knee injury picked up playing for England in the Autumn internationals.
The 25-year-old only moved to the Saints from London Irish for the start of the season, and came into the club fresh from starring for the Lions down under last summer, where he scored the opening try in the decisive third Test.
But after spending most of this campaign watching on, Mallinder expects his man back on the pitch for the start of May against Bath in the penultimate round of the Premiership.
"As we've said all along, we expect Corbs to be back before the end of the season," Mallinder told the Northampton Chronicle and Echo. "We're hopeful he'll be back for the Bath game."