Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy has hinted that Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb could return to action sooner than expected next year.
Webb suffered a serious foot injury in Wales' final warm-up match against Italy which ruled him out of the Rugby World Cup.
The scrum-half was expected to miss the rest of the season but is battling his way back to fitness ahead of schedule.
Having the star number nine back healthy in time for the Six Nations would be a major boost for Warren Gatland and Tandy conceded that he could well be back in time for the start of the tournament in February.
“Potentially [he could be back], but it’s not something we are going to rush," Tandy said at Tuesday's press conference ahead of the Ospreys' Champions Cup opener this weekend.
“We know what ‘Webby’ is like – he will be pushing himself through but what we won’t be doing is cutting corners.
“It’s a pretty unique break he suffered.
"With some injuries you know where people are but this was different.”
The Ospreys take on Premiership side Exeter Chiefs on Sunday.