Kallum Watkins has pinpointed the high-profile Channel 4 clash with Wigan on April 24 to make his long-awaited return from a devastating knee injury.
The England centre has been sidelined since suffering a torn ACL last June, ending his season and World Cup hopes.
But with the World Cup rescheduled for later this year, the renewed focus has helped accelerate his recovery, and the 31-year-old says he has pinpointed the live Wigan game as his time to return.
He told Love Rugby League: “Rehab has gone really, really well.
“I’m about nine months in since the surgery and the goals we have set we have hit at every marker with no problems.
“I’ve been worked really hard by the staff and had a mini pre-season over the last month or so trying to get my running legs and my lungs back.
“So I’m back in full contact training since last week which is a real positive and am looking to be back playing in the weeks just after Easter, those two tough games with Wigan and Saints (April 29) is when I’m looking to be back.
“This feels the right time after a full course of rehabilitation and I think I’ll have had enough training by then.”
Getting back for the team
Watkins says he feels like he could play now but is being guided with caution by Salford’s medical team.
He added: “I know Rowls (coach Paul Rowley) wants me back as soon as possible and he’s probably more frustrated than I am.
“But I’ve just taken it day by day and have probably had a different mindset to the last couple of times I’ve had this injury.”
With both Watkins and Dan Sarginson sidelined, Rowley has been forced to play former Widnes winger Deon Cross in the centres.
Cross, who arrived at the AJ Bell Stadium in the off-season, helped set up one of the tries of the season for Chris Atkin against Leeds.