Brumbies coach Dan McKellar says David Pocock is in line for an eagerly awaited Super Rugby return against the NSW Waratahs on Saturday week.
The 29-year-old openside flanker has been cleared by medical staff and is almost certain to take on the Waratahs at GIO Stadium on March 31 after the side’s bye weekend.
McKellar said he would have no hesitation slotting Pocock straight back into the starting XV if he thought it was best for player and team.
Pocock had surgery to repair damage to his meniscus in January, delaying his comeback to Super Rugby after a year-long sabbatical from the game.
A battle for the No.7 jersey will be on after with Tom Cusack performed well in Saturday night’s win over the Sharks.
“I think ‘Poey’ could start and perform well straight up because he’s been around a long time now and he’s in peak physical condition, as he always is,” McKellar said.
“What he brings in terms of that on-ball presence and he’s managed to get a bit of work in there, but Tom Cusack has been playing well.
“While it was disappointing he got the injury, four weeks in now and on the back of some heavy travel we’ll get a boost by having David back in the team.”
After breaking a two-game losing streak against the Sharks to stay in touch with the top of the Australian conference, the Brumbies could get a double boost by getting co-captain Sam Carter back.
The Wallabies lock suffered a concussion against the Melbourne Rebels and missed the Sharks clash, but has been back at training this week.
McKellar said Carter should be available despite “some lingering issues” and would have to pass medical tests first.
The news isn’t as good for veteran Josh Mann-Rea, who is facing up to six weeks out with a torn hamstring.