Richie McCaw won't rule out an earlier-than-expected return to his Crusaders team before the Super Rugby playoffs.
The All Blacks captain recently returned to the country after taking a six-month sabbatical, spending some time travelling around North America and Europe - and McCaw's reportedly potentially available for the Crusaders' final two regular season matches in July against the Chiefs and Hurricanes.
He could also yet play in the finals series, should the seven-times champions make the playoffs.
McCaw's been reported as saying he'll see how his training goes and will see what comes of talks with his coach Todd Blackadder.
The 32-year-old loose forward's started running and lifting weights again and will look to increase the workload as he builds towards a possible return for the end of the season, though more likely the Rugby Championship tournament involving Australia, South Africa and Argentina that starts on August the 17th.
McCaw will miss next month's three-test series against France.