Ireland will make a call on Thursday whether fly-half Jonathan Sexton will face Italy in Saturday's Six Nations clash in Dublin.
The racing Metro playmaker's participation has been in douby since suffering a thumb ligament injury at Twickenham last month.
On Tuesday Ireland assistant coach John Plumtree revealed that Sexton trained freely after the latest scans of his hand showws no serious damage.
"Johnny trained on Tuesday and he did really well," said Plumtree.
"He was sort of in and out with Paddy (Jackson) and Mads (Ian Madigan), so we'll make that final call on Thursday but he didn't look in too much discomfort at all.
"It looks like the scan is clear, so again it's just how that thumb feels.
"I guess there are certain aspects of the game, like tackling and grappling, that will give it a true test.