Fit-again paceman Sean Abbott is ready to return for the Sydney Sixers in their BBL qualifying final at the MCG, where he will be tasked with filling the void left by Englishman Tom Curran.
Abbott hasn't played since suffering a side strain on December 28, an untimely setback that forced him to miss Australia's ODI tour of India.
The 27-year-old has bowled off the long run on three occasions in preparation and will travel with the Sixers to Melbourne on Thursday.
Provided Abbott gets through training on match eve he will face the table-topping Melbourne Stars in Friday night's high-stakes match.
The victors will advance to a home final some eight days later, while the losers will host a semi-final on Thursday.
The absence of Curran, who has departed for international duty, is a blow but Abbott feels ready to step up with bat and ball.
"We both bowl at pretty similar times in the game," Abbott told reporters.
"Obviously I can get one spot up the order with the bat, now that he's left.
"Spending quite a lot of time with Tommy over the last two seasons has been great. It's sort of been pushing me along to strive for better performances with the bat, really wanting that contest and chance with the bat."
Abbott has left no stone unturned in his recovery, travelling with the Sixers throughout the second half of the season to ensure club medicos kept a watchful eye over his progress.
The right-armer lacks match fitness but is confident that won't be an issue against the Stars.
"I don't see why Friday will be any different from when I started the tournament," he said.
The Stars dropped their final three games of the regular season, a slump that started with an SCG loss to the Sixers.
Abbott was quick to point out his opposition have match-winners throughout their XI, starting with the BBL's leading run-scorer Marcus Stoinis.
Stoinis finished 147 not out during the clubs' previous MCG meeting, a staggering knock that featured eight sixes.
"I was on the far side running drinks to all the players," Abbott recalled.
"We were quite clear with our planning that night but obviously ... got it wrong.
"When we came back here, we'd done a little bit of research and had to change up a few things ... we bounced back very well as a bowling unit at the SCG and that will hold us in good stead for Friday."