Paddy Wallace will make his first Ulster appearance in nine months at Ravenhill against Zebre on Friday night in RaboDirect Pro12 action.
The 34-year-old playmaker tore knee ligaments against Glasgow in February, and returns to senior action after two British and Irish Cup outings for the second string Ulster Ravens.
Head coach Mark Anscombe has made nine changes to the side that beat Treviso last weekend.
Wallace admitted he cannot wait to add to his already record appearance tally of 188 for his home province.
"My motivation is through the roof," he told Ulster's official website, as he prepares to start at inside centre.
"I hope that I can bring a few players along with me because I am so pumped up to play again at Ravenhill.
"So many people have supported me through a hard time such as the medical stuff and the strength and conditioning coaches and I want to do their support justice."