Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini has targetted next week's UEFA Champions League encounter with UEFA Cup holders Zenit for his comeback from injury.
Chiellini, one of his country's few bright sparks in their miserable UEFA EURO 2008 campaign in June, injured his knee in a friendly last month and was expected to face a month on the sidelines.
The 24-year-old now feels he is ready to start playing again and has not ruled out being included in Sunday's visit of Udinese.
But it is the match against the Russians that Chiellini is targetting as Claudio Ranieri's side are in one of the toughest qualifying groups for Europe's premier club competition, one which includes Spanish champions Real Madrid.
"I hope to be on the field against Zenit. Who wouldn't want to play in such a match?" he said.
"My knee is clearly much better. I'm fit and ready. The coach will decide if he will use me on Sunday and if so, for how long."