Republic of Ireland winger Callum O'Dowda has taken a significant step in his recovery from injury ahead of this month's 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The Bristol City winger returned to training with the Championship club on Monday, nine weeks on from his last appearance for the club against Wycombe.

The 25-year-old suffered a hamstring tear in the late December fixture which had been estimated to keep him out of action for at least two months.

The injury had put his availability in doubt for Ireland's World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Luxembourg on 24 and 27 March, as well as the Dublin friendly against Qatar on 30 March.

But O'Dowda could now be available to Boys in Green manager Stephen Kenny, although his club boss Nigel Pearson expressed caution in regard to the return dates of the injured players in his squad.

"There's a temptation, due to necessity to hurry things along, but when they’re back I want them to stay back. We will get them back when they’re ready to play," he told the Bristol City club website.