Dimitri Szarzewski could return to action for Racing Metro as soon as Saturday
France hooker Dimitri Szarzewski is champing at the bit to get back on a rugby field as he enters the final stages of recovery from an ankle injury.
Szarzewski played in four of France's 2014 RBS 6 Nations matches, even dotting down for a try against Ireland in Paris, but a damaged tendon in March put paid to the rest of his season.
The hooker has made 79 appearances for Les Bleus over the past decade although he was forced to miss their June tour of Australia.
But the Racing Metro captain, who was also ruled out of last season's Top 14 play-offs, has once again begun training and acknowledges that the timing of his injury wasn't as bad as it could have been.
"It's been just over four months since I had my operation and I think I'm just about on track," Szarzewski told Rugbyrama.
"Everything went well during my rehab. I wanted to stay in touch with the team during the play-offs and I also wanted to be there for the first game of the season.
"I was back on the pitch last week, and was able to take part in full training with the squad on Monday, which was very pleasing.
"I was disappointed to miss the play-offs last season, but I was lucky that I got injured very close to the end of the season and two months without competition. It's easier when there isn't a game.
"For my first game back I think I've got about 30-40 minutes in my legs. Of course we'll have to wait and see how I feel after the first moments on the pitch. It depends on what the coaches want to do though."
Round three of the RBS 6 Nations will decide whether teams are challenging for the title or in a scrap to finish in the top half. Never will that be more obvious than in Dublin on Saturday, when Ireland host France.
Tom Tierney's unbeaten Ireland Women side face an acid test of their title credentials on Sunday when defending Women's Six Nations champions France arrive at Donnybrook Stadium desperate to ensure they remain in the title hunt.