Chris Froome says he has all but recovered from the back injury that ruled him out of Tirreno-Adriatico and is now ready to return to action at this month's Volta a Catalunya.
The 28-year-old Briton was withdrawn from Team Sky's squad for the seven-day Italian race on Friday after developing an inflammation of the sacroiliac joint in his lower back.
It is the second time he has suffered from the injury, having also been forced to miss Il Lombardia last October.
However, Froome has already returned to training and is confident he will be at his best when he takes to the start line on stage one of the Volta a Catalunya on Monday, March 24.
He told teamsky.com: "A few days' rest let the inflammation go down and everything has been going really well since then. I'm now mid-way through a good, solid block of training.
"I have been on my own for a lot of it because most riders are racing at the moment, but that has allowed me to focus fully on my recovery.
"It has definitely been disappointing to miss out on Tirreno. It was an important race for me. With my back problem, though, we felt it was a better idea to play it safe and look at the bigger picture, which is making sure I'm ready for the Tour de France in July.
"We have erred on the side of caution in that respect and we are fortunate that the Volta a Catalunya is just around the corner. I'm training hard for that right now and looking forward to competing again."
The Volta a Catalunya will be Froome's second race of the season and contains two summit finishes on which to test himself against rivals such as Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez, Nairo Quintana, Rigoberto Uran and defending champion Dan Martin.
He got the better of a selection of those riders on the way to winning the Tour of Oman last month and is keen to show his injury has not compromised his form by repeating that success.
"It's a very testing race and they have put some pretty hard stages in there with some tough summit finishes," Froome added. "It's going to be a good test for everyone.
"It's hard to find races that go high up into the mountains at this time of year, but Catalunya always provides that and it attracts the best general classification riders as a result.
"Alberto [Contador] is likely to be there, so it will be interesting to race against him again in the mountains, and Vincenzo [Nibali] could ride it as well, but I haven't seen a full start list as yet."