Pascal Papé has returned to training for the first time since hurting his back in the Six Nations, revealed new Stade Français coach Gonzalo Quesada.
Lock Papé, capped 46 times for his country, was injured during France's 23-18 defeat to Italy in the opening match of their dismal 2013 campaign.
The 32-year-old was subsequently ruled out of the rest of the tournament, which saw France finish bottom, the rest of the domestic season and Les Bleus' recent June tour of New Zealand.
"Papé had his first rugby session today and it went well," Argentinian Quesada, who was appointed in the close season from Racing Metro, told reporters.
"He's 100 percent in the programme set out. He's even a bit ahead. We thought we'd get him back into the rugby in the week of July 22, so he's a couple early."
Quesada warned that coaching staff had to keep an eye on Papé to ensure that he came back at the right time.
But he said he was still hoping that he would be available for selection for the start of the upcoming season.
Quesada, meanwhile, said that Stade Français were looking to build on their tenth place finish last season and were targeting the top half of the table.
But he warned that success would not come immediately, citing the example of Castres - last year's Top 14 champions - who took four years to rise to the top.
"We've got a good team, we've got what it takes to be there, we've got our chances. I hope that our project will take us to the top of the table but that doesn't happen in a year," he told a news conference.
Key to improving Stade Français' title hopes was a better away record, said Quesada, admitting that a top six finish was one of the club's aims.