Jonathan Sexton is on course to make the start of the Six Nations, according to Leinster head coach Leo Cullen.
The Leinster out-half suffered a knee injury during last Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup win away to Northampton Saints and was forced to exit the game shortly after half-time.
Sexton has already had a scan on the issue and Cullen has confirmed that the player will will see another in the UK, but added that he “won't be a million miles away” in the next few weeks.
Cullen neglected to offer a potential time frame for any likely return but he was positive when asked specifically about his veteran ten's Six Nations prospects.
“Yeah, well, you would love if he was back, but it’s probably more realistic for Ireland, I think, yeah.”
Ross Byrne filled in for Sexton at Franklin's Gardens last weekend and he will start in his stead against Saints at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow as the sides meet again in Europe.
Andy Farrell's Ireland get their Six Nations campaign underway at home to Scotland on February 1.