Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has confirmed that Gareth Barry's groin injury is not as bad as was first feared.
The 27-year-old England midfielder missed the FA Cup third round victory at Gillingham, but subsequent tests have not shown up any major damage.
However, O'Neill has admitted that the problem will continue to be closely monitored and may require surgery at some point in the future.
He told the club's official website: "Gareth irritated a groin strain, which he has been carrying for a few weeks.
"He irritated it against Hull and was feeling the worse for wear after that game.
"We have had some tests done and it hasn't come out as really bad, but if it continues to be a problem, it might be something we will look at.
"But he will still be putting himself forward for the game on Saturday, which is good news.
"We will just keep monitoring it and there is a possibility he might need a bit of surgery."