Conor Murray could be fit to face Connacht as the Munster man steps up his recovery from a shoulder stinger injury.
The scrum-half will be desperate to get minutes as he aims to prove fitness ahead of the British and Irish Lions tour.
Murray suffered nerve damage in Ireland’s 22-9 defeat to Wales in the Six Nations.
He's been telling 98FM Sport that a return could happen as early as Saturday:
“It’s really good yeah, I’ve been doing contact for the last week or two which is great, I’ve done contact on pads, I’ve done light contact, been tackling people at 50%
“This week we’ve really stepped it up, I’ve tackled people at 100% and I’ve been tackled at 100% and there’s been no ill effects.”
“There’s a hope that I might be involved this weekend depending on how I react over the next 24 hours, so far so good which is great.
Murray admits he was surprised the rehab was so slow, it was initially believed he could shake the shoulder stinger off and line-up against England.
The recovery though has taken longer than expected with Murray yet to play a game since walking off the field in Cardiff on March 10th
“I never really knew,” Murray says when asked when he realised the severity of the set-back.
“With a nerve injury you take it day by day it’s really hard to put a date or a time on it was literally just wait and see.
“I knew after the scans and we tested my strength and I was pretty down on strength, it was always improving but it was never very clear as to when it was going to come back to full strength, that was quite frustrating, it was day by day.”
You can listen to the full interview with British & Irish Lions, Ireland & Munster scrum-half Conor Murray on 98FM's Now That's What I Call Sport, Sunday from 9am on 98FM.
British & Irish Lions, Ireland & Munster scrum-half Conor Murray relaunched Maximuscle in Ireland with a new range of protein bars, designed for anyone looking to quickly increase their protein consumption.
To celebrate the launch, Conor Murray held two exclusive training sessions in the specially created Home of Gains gym, in partnership with RAW.
For the Summer months, members of the public will have the chance to attend the Home of Gains for hour-long intense and uniquely created training sessions designed to help them achieve their own physical ‘gains’: to build strength, develop lean muscle, burn fat or improve sports performance.
Fans can sign up for free at www.maxinutrition.com/home-of-gains.
For more information on Maximuscle, please visit www.maxinutrition.com