Gareth Bale is expected to be fit for next month’s crunch World Cup qualifier between the Republic of Ireland and Wales.
The Irish Times report that the Real Madrid star is on course to return from injury to line up at the Aviva Stadium in March.
Bale was injured while playing for Real Madrid in the Champions League and has been sidelined since November with an ankle injury. The former Tottenham man sustained tendon damage, which had to be corrected with surgery but coach Zinedine Zidane expects the tricky midfielder to be back in action soon.
However, the 27-year-old, who stared for the Welsh at Euro 2016, is due to return to the Wales squad as they hope to bounce back from a disappointing start to their qualifying campaign.
Following an opening 4-0 win against Moldova, the top seeds have drawn three successive games against Austria, Georgia and Serbia as Ireland sit top.
Both Ireland and Wales are unbeaten so there will be extra spice added to the fixture given its importance and the familiarity the players have with each other. Both sides impressed at Euro 2016 and will hope to claim the bragging rights in such a crucial match.
With Ireland four points clear of their Celtic cousins and two clear of Serbia, Martin O’Neill’s side will hope to extend their lead and reach their first World Cup finals since 2002.
Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena