Stuart Hogg: Glasgow Warriors full-back returns for Leinster match
Stuart Hogg will return to the Glasgow Warriors squad for their crucial Champions Cup meeting with Leinster on Saturday, assistant coach Jason O'Halloran has confirmed.
Hogg, 25, has not played this season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
"Stuart was running around today and he was close to being selected against Exeter so I'm sure he'll be some part of the 23," O'Halloran said.
"Whether he's starting or off the bench is yet to be determined."
The Scotland full-back has not featured since departing the British and Irish Lions tour with a facial injury in June. He then had an operation on a long-standing shoulder problem.
However, the two-time Six Nations Player of the Year is now fully fit and ready to play his part in Glasgow's potentially make-or-break European showdown against Leinster at Scotstoun.
O'Halloran, while delighted to have Hogg back in the frame, paid tribute to the "outstanding" Ruaridh Jackson, who has excelled at full-back in Hogg's absence.
After an opening day defeat away at English champions Exeter Chiefs, Glasgow know another defeat on Saturday will leave their European aspirations this season on life support.
"We're in a position now where we need to win desperately after getting no points out of the first away game," O'Halloran continued. "We need to put our best team out there possible.
"We were under pressure leading into the Munster game after a pretty poor performance against Cardiff. The boys really reacted well to that. We were highly physical that night and that was probably the most accurate performance we've had.
"We're coming off a loss, we know the magnitude of this game. We know it's at home in front of a pretty expectant home crowd. Hopefully with all those factors put together we'll approach the game in the right frame of mind and we'll see a really physical, committed and accurate Glasgow side."
'We'll make life tough for Leinster stars'
As Glasgow prepare to welcome back Hogg, Leinster should be able to call on some heavy-hitters of their own, including the Lions duo of Johnny Sexton and Sean O'Brien.
O'Halloran says nullifying those two players will be key if Warriors are to come out on top.
"I would imagine that Leinster will kick a fair bit. It's a real strength," the Kiwi explained.
"Obviously they've got a magnificent front row, a very good solid pack and a great game-driver in Johnny Sexton. You put all of those elements together and I'd imagine they'll play a pretty brutal style of rugby. At the same time they are a threat to play with width with Sexton running those loop plays.
"It all starts up front. We've got to make sure we got some pressure on at set-piece time to deny him the quality ball he likes to dictate terms. We need to make sure our kicking game is better and we're making them play out of deep parts of the field.
"If you're a good team and have any aspirations then playing against the best motivates you. We've really tried to get stuck into dominant players in the opposition to date. We went after Bundee Aki pretty well going back to Connacht.
"Right through the last seven games we've tried to attack the bigger players in these teams rather than just simply trying to contain them. If Sean O'Brien is to play, and Johnny Sexton, we'd go well to winning the game if we make their day as uncomfortable as possible."