Reds and Wallabies captain James Horwill is confident his latest injury setback will not prevent him from facing the British and Irish Lions later this year.
Horwill, who recently recovered from a serious hamstring tear which kept him on the sidelines for nine months, has been battling to overcome an ankle injury sustained at a Reds training session.
The 27-year-old, who is currently wearing a moon boot, is yet to play this year but believes he will be fit in time to face the Lions.
"I hope so, that's the plan," Horwill told Sportal when asked if he'll be ready for the first Test in Brisbane on June 22.
"First, I just have to get on the field, it's been a long time off for me but there's still a lot of rugby to be played.
"We've only had two rounds of Super Rugby so there's plenty of footy to play and I'm hoping not to be out for too much longer but when I get back and make sure that I'm still playing to my ability that I know I can then we'll see where that goes from there."
Meanwhile, Horwill's Reds and Wallabies team-mate Will Genia, who has been out of action after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in a Rugby Championship match against South Africa last September, is also optimistic about his chances of taking on the Lions.
"At this stage hopefully round five or round six, the whole rehab process has gone really well and really smoothly," the scrum-half said of his likely return date.
"I've also got to tick off a few boxes and start doing contact as of this afternoon so hopefully everything goes well."
But Genia said he would not rush his return in order to avoid risking further injury.
"I think it's really important [to be patient], not just for the Lions series but in terms of my well being as a player moving forward," he explained.
"I spoke to James [Horwill] and spoken to a lot of guys who have done their knees previously and they said the worst thing you can do is try to rush back so I'll just go and if it feels right I'll play and if it doesn't I'll give it a few more weeks."