Manu Tuilagi: Leicester Tigers centre pushing for Christmas return
Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi could return from a long-term groin injury in time to face Newcastle on Boxing Day.
The England international, 24, has been the subject of big money interest from rival Premiership clubs despite being sidelined for more than 13 months.
"He is starting to get back to full training," Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill told 5 live.
"We hope to see him on the field soon. It will be around Christmas time, early New Year."
Samoa-born Tuilagi, who has won 25 caps for England since 2011, is out of contract at Welford Road in the summer.
He has been offered a new deal by the Tigers, but is yet to confirm where his future lies.
Meanwhile, Cockerill is confident England scrum-half Ben Youngs will remain with the club beyond this season following the arrival of head coach Aaron Mauger and addition of versatile Australia international Matt Toomua for the 2016-17 season.
"We want Ben to stay - he wants to stay. We are working hard to making that work," Cockerill said.
"He wanted to see how it worked with Aaron. Clearly we have set our intent with guys like Toomua coming in and hopefully there will be one or two others in that backline who will improve that backline even more. Ben wants to be part of that."