Manchester City have been boosted by the news that Martin Petrov is back in training as the season approaches its business end.
The Bulgarian winger has been sidelined for most of the season after sustaining knee ligament damage in a World Cup qualifier back in October.
But City boss Mark Hughes confirmed the 30-year-old is now back in training and is close to a return.
He told the club's official website: "He's on track now. There was a bit of concern a couple of weeks ago about the knee but the specialist found it was just the stitching inside the knee.
"Maybe it was irritating the ligament. But he had an injection popped into it and that cleared it up.
"Now it's just a case of getting games into him. He's a fit guy and not the type to put too much weight on. Hopefully he'll be an option very soon."
Team-mates Bojinov, Benjani and Danny Sturridge are also coming back into contention, while Michael Johnson is getting closer to his return.
This news is a welcome boost as City get set to face Hamburg in the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup, as well as press to finish as high up the Premier League as possible.
Hughes added: "You can introduce that energy and enthusiasm those players will have on their return.
"Sometimes in a long, hard season there's a dip, and you'll see that in certain players. If you've got the option just to take them out of the firing line, that's great to have.
"We've got players who are itching to get back into the side and that's going to be a real boost."