Middlesbrough midfielder Willo Flood will not be rushed back into senior action despite nearing the end of his injury nightmare.
The Irishman has played two reserve team games in the last 10 days, his first taste of football since he dislocated his kneecap on the opening day of the season.
However, manager Tony Mowbray is likely to leave him out of the squad for Saturday's npower Championship trip to Sheffield United.
Mowbray said: "Willo has been out a long time. He has had two reserve games now in 10 days - he played at Elland Road against Leeds and then he played against Hull the other day.
"The second game found him out a little bit. At Elland Road, he looked really good, he looked full of energy running around and doing what Willo does. The second game, at times, with being out so long, can be a bit of an energy-sapper and he found that a bit more difficult.
"The plan with Willo will be to give him another week's training and then try to get him involved, get him on the bench and then get him on the pitch, if we can, pretty soon."