Scotland were handed a huge boost ahead of their RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy when Euan Murray returned from injury for his club side.
Murray missed the opening two rounds of the championship and left a gaping hole in the front row of the Scotland scrum.
But he played for the full 80 minutes as Northampton were edged out 9-5 by Wasps in the Guinness Premiership at Adams Park.
He is now certain to be recalled to the side for the match at Murrayfield on Saturday, when Scotland will face a tough afternoon of scrummaging against the Azzurri.
The return of Murray, a certain Lions tourist this summer, might help to off-set the lack of muscle in the second row, with Jim Hamilton poised to join Nathan Hamilton on the sidelines.
Indeed it is perfectly possible Scotland coach Frank Hadden could field two back-row forwards, Jason White and Simon Taylor, in their second row this weekend.
With a back-row of Alasdair Strokosch, John Barclay and either Kelly Brown or Ally Hogg, it would give Scotland an extremely lightweight but very mobile pack.