Gavin Henson is back in training after ankle surgery to hand Wales a timely boost.
Grand Slam winner Henson, 26, has been sidelined for five months.
But he could return to action for the Ospreys as early as next week, putting him in line for the autumn series for Wales in November.
Ospreys coach Sean Holley said: "Gavin is back in full training and close to a return to action. He is on schedule and we hope to include him in contact work soon.
"We have to see how he reacts but then game-time is the next step for him. He could be ready for the Ulster game."
Henson's recovery is the second boost in a week for Wales after it was confirmed veteran flanker Martyn Williams will not require an operation on his left ankle.
But Warren Gatland must wait on scrum-half Mike Phillips who met a specialist on Thursday night for an update on his knee reconstruction.
Wales face South Africa on November 8 before clashes with Canada, New Zealand and Australia.