Jonny Wilkinson is targeting a return to the big time next month...
Wilkinson plans to lead his Newcastle Falcons side into "the biggest game in the club's history" against reigning French champions Stade Francais Paris in the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup on Saturday, 2 April.
England's 2003 World Cup winner has not played since injuring his knee in the fifth round of the tournament in Perpignan in January.
But the 25-year-old told a 100 strong press gathering in Paris today (Tuesday) that he is on course to return in time to play at Parc des Princes next month.
"Physically I'm more or less back to normal and I hope to be fit for the rest of the season," said Wilkinson at a press conference at the Paris city hall to publicise the quarter-final.
"It has been a frustrating time for me, but thankfully that time is just about at an end. I would really love to be playing for England in the Six Nations, but I have to be happy with just getting back out onto the pitch.
"Being able to think about playing for Newcastle again, and building towards the Heineken Cup quarter-final, certainly makes all the rehab work worthwhile. The quarter-final will give me the chance to fulfill a dream of playing at Parc des Princes.
"I'm just about to start training pretty much full on and I'm now able to train and prepare as if I had a game at the weekend. Providing I'm selected in the team I'm confident I will be able to play in the quarter-final.
"I want to get as many games under my belt as possible before the game in Paris."
It is the first time the Falcons have reached the knock-out stages of the Heineken Cup and already Stade Francais have sold 22,800 tickets for the game at the former home of the French team.
And by the time Wilkinson heads to Paris next month he could be in an even better position to cause the French champions problems other than through his play because he revealed he has been filling in his spare time while injured learning French.
"I've found little things with which to fill my spare time while I've been recovering, and one of them has been to brush up on my French," said Wilkinson.
"I used to enjoy taking the subject in school and I really love the country. I'd love to be able to live in France and learn the language that way.
"I've also been learning to play the piano and the guitar. These things have kept me going in the hours when I would normally have been analysing my game or thinking about the matches ahead - at least
I've been able to fill my time profitably.
"It's amazing how lost you feel as a professional rugby player when you can't play. But I'm keeping up beat about everything, especially as there is potentially such a big end to the season for the Falcons.
"I just want to get out there and play some games now having suffered three successive injuries. I feel I still have loads to prove to my team mates with Newcastle and England. And I have loads to prove to people who haven't really seen me play for a long time.
"I hate standing still and I feel I haven't moved forward in playing terms since the World Cup.
"That has left me feeling terribly unfulfilled. That's why I'm so desperate to get back to playing."