Aston Villa are hopeful that John Carew will return from a six-game lay-off in time to face Birmingham City in Saturday's local derby.
The Norway international striker has not featured since damaging knee ligaments in the 2-0 victory over Everton on September 23.
However, after stepping up his training during the week, Villa boss Martin O'Neill has hinted he will throw the former Valencia and Lyon hitman straight back into the first-team picture for the short trip to St Andrew's.
"Big John trained with us on Tuesday. We did some running with him," O'Neill told the Birmingham Mail.
"I'll have a word with John, I'll have a word with the physios. He should be really ready to play now.
"Am I tempted to throw John straight in? I really would have to look at that.
"I think all the Premier League games are high intensity - or certainly that's your view of them beforehand, as they don't always turn out that way - but this is one game that we know will be high intensity.
"Carew says that in terms of fitness work, he's been pretty good. He's done a lot of stuff while his injury has been improving."
Meanwhille, O'Neill also hopes to have Ashley Young available after the speedy frontman suffered a slight hamstring problem during last weekend's victory over Derby County.