My aim is to be in better nick than I have in the past couple of years
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is "feeling pretty good" after a self-imposed exile and could be available for the Super Rugby play-offs.
McCaw has not played this year after triggering a sabbatical clause in his contract, instead travelling the world and giving his body a break in the hope of extending his career through to the 2015 World Cup.
The 32-year-old said he planned to play for club side Christchurch early next month and could be available for his Super Rugby team the Crusaders if they are involved in the latter stages of the season.
"It's still three or four weeks away yet, that's the plan" he told reporters.
McCaw is set to resume captaining duties for the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship after relinquishing the armband to Kieran Read for the three-Test series against France which is now underway.
The 116-Test veteran said his sabbatical had allowed him to rest niggling injuries, including a troublesome bone in his foot that caused problems throughout the 2011 World Cup campaign.
"My aim is to be in better nick than I have in the past couple of years," he said.
"With my foot injury and so on, I've always been rushed. I wanted to not only have a break but also have a chance to get myself in shape, which I've done."