All-Star corner forward Benny Coulter says he is on course to line out for Down in their Ulster SFC quarter-final showdown with Armagh on Saturday, May 28.
Coulter recently suffered a hamstring injury when playing for his club side Mayobridge against Burren, but is making a steady recovery at present.
Last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists begin their 2011 Championship run at the Athletics Grounds at the end of the month, and manager James McCartan is monitoring the fitness of some of his frontline players.
Team captain Ambrose Rogers is unlikely to be risked for the provincial opener. He is just back playing for his club Longstone following the anterior cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out of the closing stages of last year's campaign.
Meanwhile, regular goalkeeper Brendan McVeigh has had knee problems this season, the last of them coming after he collided with Dublin's Barry Cahill during the sides' league clash last month.
Coulter is remaining positive, stating: "The injury probably happened at the right time. If it had have happened this week or last week it could have been tight.
"I'm doing a good lot of work along with Paddy Tally and I think he's got to the bottom of it, and hopefully it will be grand for the summer.
"My leg tangled with another man's leg and mine stayed on the ground. I knew straight away and came off.
"The first thing as soon as I came off I said was: 'I wouldn't need to miss this game (Armagh)'. I had a scan the next day and I was still panicking, but it feels great now.
"I'm very, very confident. I'll not get any football between now and then I wouldn't think. We'll see what James feels."