Western Province flanker Schalk Burger has received the green light to resume training with the Cape Town-based outfit, as he begins his comeback from surgery.
Burger - who missed the 2012 Super Rugby season with a knee injury - underwent surgery to remove a cyst pressing against his spinal cord, in March of this year, but there were complications when he contracted bacterial meningitis.
Since then, Burger has been through some tough times, which saw him spend a total of six weeks in hospital and another eight weeks indoors.
However, after consulting his specialist on Wednesday, he received the news that the cyst - which had been pressing against his spine and causing discomfort in his calf muscle - was gone and that he could return to training and begin working towards an eventual comeback for Western Province.
For now, Burger will be able to increase his training workload in the gym, with the next step being targeting a return to field training.
Looking ahead, and when pressed on a potential comeback date, Burger said: "To give a timeline is quite difficult... I certainly don't want to over-commit.
"The good news is that I can start to train properly and get the heart-rate up.
"That, in itself, is exciting news and I look forward to increasing my training schedule over the next few weeks with the help of the strength and conditioning team at WP Rugby.
"We will then re-asses things again in a month's time."
The 68-Test veteran has played 32 games for Western Province and a further 88 matches for the Stormers - having made his provincial debut in 2003 and his Super Rugby debut in 2004.