Burnley boss Sean Dyche says Robbie Brady is just a week away from coming back into the first-team fold as the Dubliner steps up his recovery from a dreadful knee injury.
Brady hasn't played played a competitive game for club or country since suffering the setback last December against Leicester City. He later had surgery for a torn patella.
He did feature in pre-season but his comeback was further delayed by a hamstring problem.
The Republic of Ireland defender turned out for the Clarets' Under-23 side last Monday afternoon, getting 82 minutes under his belt and Dyche expects to have him back in his panel soon.
"Robbie is on his way back," he told the club's website.
"He will play again next week [most likely with the Under-23s] and then that’s really him.
"I spoke to him again today and we’d consider that’s the end of his pre-season, if you like, games-wise particularly."
It's a much-needed boost for Martin O'Neill. Ireland face Denmark at the Aviva Stadium on 13 October in their second Nations League game, with Brady most likely to come into the squad.