Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg is expected to be fit for the upcoming Six Nations despite a heel injury, his club Exeter's director of rugby said on Wednesday.
Hogg has missed English side Exeter's last three matches, including a Champions Cup fixture away to South Africa's Bulls last weekend.
Exeter rugby director Rob Baxter, however, believes the 30-year-old, a veteran of 96 Tests for Scotland, could be fit in time for the Six Nations.
Scotland begin the tournament away to England at Twickenham on February 4 before welcoming Wales to Murrayfield a week later.
"The heel is improving," Baxter said. "We gave him until the Saturday before we flew (to South Africa). He still couldn't run with pace or any distance. It is an improving picture, but he is still not training...
"It is not like a significant ligament or cartilage (problem) or something like that, so there is an expectation he will come through this in time for the Six Nations."
Baxter expects to be without Hogg when Six Nations fixtures clash with Premiership matches, but he will be able to call on Jack Nowell after the wing was left out of England's squad.
"On the one hand, I am absolutely delighted he (Nowell) is here, but on the other hand I feel for him because he wants to play for England," said Baxter. "It's a double-edged sword, really."