Munster wing Simon Zebo is poised to make his comeback from injury in the province's RaboDirect Pro12 trip to Ulster on 3 January.
Zebo has been out of action since cracking a bone in his left foot during Munster's Heineken Cup defeat at Edinburgh in October.
Munster face provincial rivals Connacht and Ulster during the Christmas period, and head coach Rob Penney is hopeful Zebo will make his return at Ravenhill.
"Hopefully he will be back around Christmas time. We're looking possibly at Ulster and that's if everything goes to plan," said Penney.
"He's up and doing a little bit of running on a gravity treadmill and so he is making good progress to that end. But he obviously hasn't put the boots on yet or run around on grass."
Having secured back-to-back victories over Perpignan in the Heineken Cup, Munster return to Pro12 action on Saturday when the Scarlets visit Musgrave Park.
Munster are four points clear at the summit but are likely to be without skipper Peter O'Mahony, Paul O'Connell, Keith Earls and Ian Keatley against the Welsh region.
"Earlsey had a head knock and he is going through the protocols in terms of a return to play," said Penney, who added O'Mahony and O'Connell are "certain" to miss the Scarlets game.
"He'll probably (be out) but that will come to fruition in the next 48 hours. But it is highly likely that he won't be available."
Meanwhile, Penney has rubbished reports linking Munster with a move for New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore.
"Pie in the sky," said Penney. "Just because it's printed doesn't mean it's real."