Alun Wyn Jones is “very confident” he can be involved in Wales’ Six Nations opener against Ireland on 7 February, according to Ospreys coach Toby Booth.
Booth says Wales captain Jones, 35, is “making great progress and bounding around” after a knee injury.
Jones has not played since the Autumn Nations Cup match against Italy on 5 December.
“If you ask Alun, he’ll be playing in the first [Six Nations] game,” Booth said.
“He’s very confident he can be involved. He’s got a lot of historical training in him so the transition back into playing is easier if you’re of that mindset and got that bank of experience.
“But the thing he prides himself on is his physical performance, so between the relevant medical and S & C [strength and conditioning] departments, they’ll have that in mind.”
While Jones is doing well, Ospreys’ Wales centre Scott Williams faces another setback in his bid to recapture peak form after injuries dogged his efforts to make the 2019 World Cup.
He was forced off in the first quarter in the New Year’s Day derby at Cardiff Arms Park with a shoulder injury.
“Scott Williams had a freak accident, a freak collision, and I think he’s fractured his scapula so that looks like it’ll be long term and count him out for a number of weeks,” Booth added.
The Ospreys coach also said fly-half Gareth Anscombe is running in training after two knee operations, as he bids to return before the end of the 2020-21 season.