Kilkenny hurlers have received a boost by the news that Michael Fennelly is edging towards a return to full fitness.
The former All-Star made a return to the pitch at the weekend, lining out for a few minutes in an in-house game between the senior and under-21 squads.
Fennelly has been sidelined since last August's All-Ireland semi-final replay win over Waterford when he suffered a ruptured achilles tendon.
The Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman underwent surgery before beginning the long recovery and his progress has been steady.
There is speculation that he may feature at some stage for Shamrocks' league clash against James Stephens' this weekend.
Kilkenny will play either Wexford or Laois in the Leinster SHC semi-final, and it remains to be seen if the eight-time All-Ireland winner will be available for the clash on Saturday, June 10th.