All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu will start light training this week as he targets a return to action with North Harbour.
Lomu is still dreaming of a return to All Blacks duty
North Harbour boss Allan Pollock is confident Lomu will overcome the broken ankle which brought a premature end to his stint with Cardiff Blues in Wales.
"He's literally had no weight on that leg for the last eight weeks, but (his weight) has not blown out," he said.
"If the body shape is any indication he's keeping himself in very good trim. That shows how hard he's been working."
Lomu, 31, hopes to play some part in this season's inaugural Air New Zealand Cup, which kicks off in July.
But he is unlikely to be fit enough for the start of the tournament.
"Even though he's gym fit aerobically after hitting the rowing machines and cycles, running fitness and match fitness are two separate things," Pollock added.
The competition represents Lomu's last chance to fulfil his stated ambition of playing in the 2007 World Cup.
Only players in the Air NZ Cup will qualify for the 2007 Super 14, and in turn All Blacks selection.
Last year, Lomu missed Harbour's entire National Provincial Championship campaign after a groin injury in his first attempt to come back from a kidney transplant.
He managed only 10 starts during his seven-month stint in Wales, which was halted by a broken ankle in April.