Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll has admitted to being "really happy" with the progress he has so far made on his right shoulder injury.
O'Driscoll - confirmed on Wednesday as Leinster's captain for the 2005/06 season - is in the early stages of rehabilitation after his tenure as skipper of the 2005 Lions was controversially ended with a dislocated shoulder in June.
Six weeks after surgery, O'Driscoll is now in a position to plot his immediate future - which he is taking on a "week-by-week" basis.
And while Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan remains "hopeful" of his playmaker recovering in time to play a part in November's Tests against New Zealand, Australia and Romania, O'Driscoll refused to be drawn on any probable dates for his return.
"The timing of my comeback is not really an issue for me at the moment," explained O'Driscoll as he was announced as Leinster captain for the coming season.
"It's only been six weeks since my operation, and I can only take each week as it comes. The improvement can be in a week or 24 hours so I'm just setting myself little targets. November is a long time away yet."
The 26-year-old did admit to being "really happy" with his shoulder rehab so far - even ruling himself "a little bit ahead of schedule."
"It's coming along really well," O'Driscoll said.
"It's a long process, but I'm a little bit ahead of schedule if there is such a thing with shoulder rehab.
"There's no miracle cure for it. You just have to keep working hard to get it right, and keep listening to the physios.
"I have to keep myself in the best possible shape because there's no point in me getting super fit now and peaking for October when I'm not going to be playing. So it's a gradual process. But it's coming along well, and I'm really happy with my progress."
O'Driscoll is looking forward to his leadership role at Leinster, despite being at least two months away from returning to pitchside.
"It's an element of captaincy that I haven't yet experienced - the day-to-day leading of a team.
"Whenever I've captained a team before, it's been coming in for small periods of time. But this is a year-long job. I've to think about it the whole time and when I do come back from international duty I'll have that responsibility again.
"I think it's something that I have to prove to myself, and the rest of the Leinster squad, that it's something I'm capable of doing."