Leinster trio on their way back
Leinster are set to receive a timely boost after it was revealed that back-line trio Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald are all set to return to full training this week.
O'Driscoll is close to full fitness after ankle surgery while Kearney is on his way back from a back operation, and Fitzgerald is showing good signs of recovery from a neck injury.
Leinster boss Joe Schmidt revealed that the Ireland internationals will take "graduated contact" in training this week along with other players recovering from injury.
"We'd be quietly confident that we might see Luke, Brian, Dave (Kearney), Rob and Eoin (O'Malley) all training fully next week and available for selection," Schmidt told the Irish Times.
Leinster may have lost Andrew Conway to a leg injury in their 17-0 PRO12 victory over Connacht but Schmidt is optimistic that he might field his Heineken winning back-line in Friday's clash at Edinburgh.
"I'm really confident about both (Brian and Rob returning) to be honest," he said.
"Luke as well and Dave and Eoin. The problem I do have is if I do get them back for Edinburgh there is not a lot of time to knit ourselves back together when we have to chase big games against the Scarlets and Exeter away in the following two weeks.
"It would be nice to get a run in for those guys challenging for spots but it is not a perfect world unfortunately.
"I'd love to have a really good headache this week, because I've had some bad headaches in recent weeks. So it would be a bit of a luxury."
Utility back Isa Nacewa, who is on the sdelines with an old arm injury, is due to return to action when Leinster host the Scarlets in the Heineken Cup on 12 January.
"It is some deep bone bruising where the plate was and so and he was in a fair bit of discomfort," explained Schmidt.
"We want to allow it to heal fully, otherwise you get bone bruising on bone bruising and he is going to really feel that.
"Isa fits in so easily I wouldn't have too many fears about him coming straight in for Scarlets or Exeter, whichever the case may be, as long as he is fit."