Glasgow Warriors fly-half Duncan Weir is inching closer to a playing return from a dislocated ankle injury.
Weir sustained the injury in the final home match of last season against the Ospreys in April.
After missing out on Scotland's Test matches in South Africa, Weir is now on track to return two months ahead of schedule, with the opening match of the season against Cardiff Blues in his sights.
"We will see how my ankle reacts to the volume of training we do over the next couple of weeks," said Weir to the Glasgow Evening Times.
"But I am hoping I will be back a bit sooner than expected. I am looking forward to the new season. I'm hoping I am going to be injury-free and will be able to get a good run of games.
"When I was 17 I was out with a knee injury for a whole season, but this is the longest I have spent out as a professional player.
"It has been frustrating. But the care I have received has been great and it is now just a matter of the ankle being right and not rushing things."
Weir also believes that Glasgow are in a better situation to compete for honour after good recruitment over the off-season, including the arrival of Richie Vernon from Sale Sharks.
"We have strengthened the squad and I think we can build on the success we had last season and make sure we learn from the mistakes," added Weir.
"We are due a good Heineken Cup run and there will be a lot of focus on that. We want to do well once again domestically, but we also want to do well in Europe.
"I am not sure why we struggled last season. I thought we prepared really well for the games, but it was always so close.
"We always seemed to be that seven-point margin behind and just failed to convert. In the league we were really clinical and won all our tight matches.
"That was the difference between the league and the Heineken last year. We are ready to put that right - and have a good game to start with against the champions over in Toulon."