Stephen Ferris hopes to return to action in Ireland's forthcoming World Cup warm-up matches after a long-term absence because of a knee injury.
Ferris missed Ireland's Six Nations campaign and the second half of Ulster's season but is now fit again.
"I've had some dark days but hopefully I'll be back in action in the next two to three weeks and will be involved in some Ireland games," said Ferris.
"It's been hard work but I feel like I'm fit to return," he added.
Ferris underwent the third operation of his career on his left knee during his spell on the sidelines but is back in full training.
"I'm glad to be off the treadmill and back on the pitch and I've been making some serious progress in running, fitness and conditioning.
"There is more work involved in getting fit again after injury than there is when you are fit as every day involves rehab and physio.
"Sean O'Brien has come in and taken his chance at number six, and is probably the best in his position in Europe at the moment, but I want to give Declan Kidney a selection headache."