Winger Marland Yarde could make a timely return from injury ahead of England's Six Nations campaign, says London Irish chief Brian Smith.
The 21-year-old was initially ruled out for 12 to 14 weeks after he ruptured a tendon in his hip against Leicester on 23 November but is looking set to recover in time to take on the Tigers on 23 February.
Director of rugby at London Irish Smith told BBC Radio Berkshire: "We've been across Marland's injury from day one.
"We had kind of earmarked the Leicester Tigers game as a potential comeback for Marland to play for us.
"If he does well in that game and possibly the game after in the Premiership he may put himself in contention for the backend of the Six Nations, so the last one or two games."
This will come as welcome news to England boss Stuart Lancaster whose injury-stricken England side this week assembled at their Surrey training base in the lead-up to next month's championship.
Twice-capped Yarde is a relatively new edition to Lancaster's squad having made his debut against Argentina during their most recent summer tour before his injury ruled him out of playing a part in this year's campaign.
"He still has quite a bit of rehab to get through and hopefully there will be no setbacks," added Smith.
"If everything runs smoothly then there is a chance he'll play for England - but a bit more importantly for our supporters he'll be turning out for London Irish."
England open their Six Nations campaign against France in Paris on 1 February.