Multiple Group One winning jockey Dwayne Dunn will make a low-key return from injury at Sandown on Wednesday.
Dunn has been sidelined since mid-December after being diagnosed with bulging disks in his neck.
The jockey has so far avoided surgery but admits his return to the races will still be a test.
Dunn received a medical clearance last week and has been riding a couple of horses in trackwork sessions for the past month.
“I’ve only been doing a couple every day, just slowly trying to build back up,” Dunn said.
He has also ridden in jump-outs in the past couple of weeks.
“I’ll restrict myself to the number of rides for a while until I’m satisfied that I can stand up to doing more,” Dunn said.
“It’s a bit of a question mark at the moment if I do stand up or not. Hopefully it will be all good.
“Everything has been positive so far.”
Dunn expects to have about three rides at Sandown as he continues to build up strength and race fitness.
His injury sidelined him for the autumn carnival in Melbourne and the major races in Sydney, something he said was frustrating.
“It was a real awkward injury,” he said.
“I could do most things, day-to-day living things, but it’s just frustrating missing the major races.
“Sitting back watching is never good, so it will be good to get back and we’ll see how we go from there.”
Dunn finished second in last year’s Melbourne jockeys’ premiership and third the season before.
His big race wins include four straight Group One Blue Diamond Stakes from 2005 to 2008 as well as a successful combination with star colt All Too Hard on whom he won four Group Ones last season.