Sydney - Injured Australia wing Drew Mitchell, who dislocated his ankle last Saturday, is targeting a return to the field in time to be considered as a surprise inclusion in Robbie Deans's Rugby World Cup squad.
VIDEO: Drew Mitchell's horror ankle injury
Mitchell suffered the injury when he collided with Scott Higginbotham during the Waratahs' 19-15 loss to the Reds in their Super Rugby match in Brisbane.
Waratahs coach Chris Hickey said after the match, when it was confirmed Mitchell had dislocated his right ankle and broken a bone in his leg, that his winger was not expected to be back this year. Players with similar injuries have needed at least six months to recover.
The 27-year-old Mitchell, however, said he expected the injury to be healed within three months and the motivating factor during his rehabilitation would be to be included in Deans's World Cup squad. He had been an almost certainty prior to the injury.
"The indication I got is 12-14 weeks, it is much better news than it could have been," Mitchell was quoted as saying by Tuesday's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
"If I had been looking at the World Cup as not being an option at all, sometimes the motivation might not have been as high as it could be.
"I'll make sure that whatever day-to-day rehab stuff is required, I will do.
"It will be tedious and boring but, if that tedious and boring work is going to put me in a position to hopefully be looked at for World Cup selection, it will be worth it.
"I was immediately trying to work out how many weeks it would be before I could possibly return. It has put me in a better place than what it could have.
"Also, ever since the last World Cup when we were eliminated in the quarter-finals, from that moment I have done everything I can to get back for the next World Cup."
Australia have been drawn in Pool C with Ireland, Italy, the United States and Russia for the September 9-October 23 World Cup in New Zealand.