Ospreys centre Gavin Henson could hand the region a boost with a return to action next season.
Henson has spent the last 13 months on indefinite leave after struggling with Achilles and ankle injuries.
But Ospreys managing director Mike Cuddy says the 28-year-old star is ready to make a comeback during next season’s Magners League.
"Gavin has told me he will be back next season and playing before the end of the year,” said Cuddy.
"He has been honest with me all along. All the injuries, especially the prolonged ones over his groin and Achilles tendon, got him down.
"He took a break and now he is feeling all the better for it."
Henson has had great support from the Ospreys and from Cuddy during his time away from the region and that could now be rewarded as early as the autumn.
His likely return is also a massive fillip for Wales coach Warren Gatland who has admitted the national side have missed the creative spark and defensive qualities of Henson.
"It would be a tragedy if we lost someone of Gavin’s ability from the game because when he is on form, he is one of the best in the world,” Gatland had previously said.
"I’d love to see him back involved because he is a fantastic player. But it’s up to him and he needs to make sure he is physically right.
"We want him to have the motivation to not only get back for the Ospreys but put himself in contention for Wales and I’d like to think the World Cup would be his motivation."
Henson has not played for the Ospreys since March 2009, while his last Wales game was the defeat to Ireland in that year’s Six Nations.
Despite his lengthy absence, the 2005 British & Irish Lion is still the fourth top points scorer in Magners League history.