Cardiff Blues hooker Andi Kyriacou is eyeing a playing return by the end of March after successfully undergoing an operation to correct a back injury.
The 29-year-old, who signed for the Welsh region from Ulster in the off-season, went under the knife on Wednesday and has since been recovering.
Surgery was a setback to the front-row after he looked to enjoy a positive and action-filled start to rugby life at the RaboDirect PRO12 outfit.
"Unfortunately the injury had been stopping me playing at 100 per cent so after exploring all the other options available the call was eventually taken to fix the problem once and for all. I was looking forward to making a strong start to life at Cardiff Blues after a good pre-season," he said.
But the operation promises much in the long-term as Kyriacou is poised to be free of an issue that had hampered his early-season at the Blues.
"There is no doubt it was the right course of action and I am excited about getting back into rehabilitaion after Christmas and having a positive impact when I return," Kyriacou added.
Cardiff Blues face the Dragons in the upcoming PRO12 clash on Boxing Day and on the back of a loss against the Scarlets, the former Sale and Saracens player is confident the region can enjoy a strong 2013 as the young and hungry Blues squad looks to build.
"It's a very exciting young squad we have at the region. Phil (Davies) is building a strong culture which everyone is buying in to and I am sure we are going to see plenty of quality performances going into 2013 and beyond," the hooker concluded.