Injured All Blacks hooker James Parsons is hopeful to begin his Super Rugby season about a month into the Blues’ campaign.
Parsons suffered concussion in a New Zealand provincial game for North Harbour against Manawatu last September and hasn’t played since.
The 30-year-old only recently resumed running after receiving a four-week clearance from medical staff.
He will complete contact training next week and, if unaffected, hopes to return to the field in mid to late March.
Parsons, who has played two Tests, says headache symptoms have cleared but he is well down on fitness.
“I haven’t run for five months so I’ve got to manage that load,” he said.
“I’m champing at the bit but I’ve just got to make sure I restrain myself as well.”
Parsons said he used his long friendship with former Chiefs prop Ben Afeaki, who was forced to give rugby away due to concussion, to help him be smarter in his approach to recovery.
The Blues open their Super Rugby campaign away to the Melbourne Rebels on February 23.