Gloucester's Welsh tight-head prop Gary Powell is ready to bounce back after an injury-hit seven weeks.
The 25 year-old front row man injured his ankle following his last outing for the Kingsholm club in the Powergen Cup win over Leicester at Welford Road in December.
Powell, who trained with the Welsh national squad in the Autumn, injured his ankle joint and ligaments in training the following week and it was estimated he'd be out for a number of weeks.
After seven weeks out injured, Powell is positive that he could be back training soon. Commenting on www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com the tight-head said: "We haven't got a game next week and I'm targeting the following Monday (14 Feb) to return to training."
Powell, who signed for Gloucester from Leeds Tykes in the summer, made a big impact as he took the lead role in the number three shirt, with Phil Vickery missing the early part of the season.
"It's a been a real up-and-down season. I've had a couple of good runs in the team, but that's been combined with this ankle problem. Mentally, it's been very tough, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, thankfully," added Powell.
The call-up to the Welsh training squad was a massive boost to Powell at the end of 2004, and he's determined to get back in the Gloucester shirt and return to the fitness and form that got the attention of his national side's management team.
"First and foremost it's about being part of the rest of the season for Gloucester. I've been really impressed with the set-up at Kingsholm since I arrived in the summer, and you feel like you're part of something here. There's some hard work ahead, but top of the agenda is just getting back to fitness in the Gloucester shirt."
Powell will be supporting his country on Saturday when Wales take on England, and he's optimistic he'll be the one with a smile on his face when he returns to training at Gloucester after the weekend.
"It's going to be close. England have got quite a few new faces, and Wales have a pretty settled side. There's definitely the opportunity for Wales to win. It'd be nice to arrive back at training on Monday with a win for Wales. It would be a big boost for the entire country."
Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
Dan Thomas was a try scorer in the 14-62 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians on Tuesday evening, but told GRTV after the game that he'd really enjoyed taking on the Barbarians and locking horns with Ardie Savea at the breakdown.
After a long, hard battle to return to fitness, Henry Trinder made his long awaited comeback in the second half of the 23-10 win over Zebre on Saturday and admitted he was taken aback by the reception he got from the Kingsholm crowd.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.