Munster lock Paul O'Connell could return to action before the end of this season after tests on his injured ankle revealed better than expected news.
O'Connell had his injury reassessed on Wednesday and the prediction is that he could be back training in four weeks.
A Munster statement said the player could feature in the Magners League final or European Challenge Cup decider if Munster progressed.
O'Connell suffered the injury in the win over Leinster on 2 April.
The Ireland and Lions lock was withdrawn in the second half of the game after landing badly from a line-out.