Billy Vunipola could play a role in England's Six Nations clash with Scotland after being on the brink of winning his battle with a knee injury.
Vunipola is poised to make his comeback after three months out with ligament damage when Saracens face Newcastle in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.
The number eight is expected to play some part in the Kingston Park showdown, most likely as a replacement off the bench to raise the prospect of him facing Scotland on March 11.
England have sorely missed Vunipola's ball-carrying in their Six Nations title defence and if fit he is sure to come into contention for the Scots' visit to Twickenham.
Vunipola underwent surgery after damaging his knee during last autumn's victory over Argentina and was initially expected to miss the entire tournament, only for Eddie Jones to raise the possibility of him returning in time to face Ireland in the final match.
The 24-year-old underwent a medical assessment with England last week and could soon be ready to reinforce England's quest for a second successive Grand Slam.
"It's pretty positive. We're working with Saracens to see when he's going to be available to play. We haven't written off the hope he'll play in the Six Nations. He's looking fit," Jones said on Friday.