Wales and Ospreys lock Brent Cockbain is on course to be fit for the start of the new season.
Brent Cockbain has been sidelined since his injury last November
Cockbain was ruled out of much of last season after surgery to repair a detached hamstring suffered in last November's 11-10 win over Fiji.
"I ran at full pelt last week for the first time and it was a great feeling," Cockbain told the Evening Post.
"I'm on course to play the first game of next season, which has been my target from the start."
Cockbain toured with the Lions last summer, only for his freak injury to spoil a season that had begun so well.
The Australian-born player's return will be a huge boost to both Wales and his region, although Ospreys youngsters Ian Evans and Alun Wyn Jones flourished in Cockbain's absence.
Evans, 21, and Wyn Jones, 20, both made their Wales debuts this month in the two-Test series in Argentina, after impressing during the regular season.
With Cockbain's return to fitness, the Swansea-Neath based region can boast formidable depth in the engine room of the scrum.
"I just want to get back to hitting people in the tackle now," Cockbain added.
"I feel strong, powerful as well as mentally and physically fit for another big season."