England skipper Steve Borthwick is on course to return to action in Thursday night's Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Toulon.
Borthwick spent a night in hospital after being kicked in the eye by Gloucester's French international hooker Olivier Azam in a recent Guinness Premiership match and looked to be set for a long time on the sidelines. In the meantime, Azam was banned for 12 weeks for his action, although he has appealed against the severity of the sentence.
But, having established there was no fracture to the eye socket and no lasting damage to the eye itself, Borthwick is ready to resume and has set his sights on tackling Jonny Wilkinson's high-flying Toulon side on Thursday night.
"I am good to go and the eye has healed really well. It was a nervous time," he admitted.
"The eye swelled shut immediately so I couldn't see anything and it had taken a bang so it was numb and I couldn't feel anything. I was very alarmed by it.
"I spent that night in hospital and they told me as early as possible that everything was okay. They said the eyeball itself was healthy but they had surgery booked for the next day because they were 95% certain I had a fracture.
"Thankfully, the next morning when they did more tests they said there was no fracture and that the eye just needed to heal. It took several days to open up but I have got my vision back and as a rugby player I am desperate to play rugby so I am really looking forward to getting back involved later this week."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.