Wigan boss Roberto Martinez expects defender Ivan Ramis to be in contention for a starting spot for the New Year's Day encounter with Manchester United.
Ramis has been out of action since the end of November after picking up a hamstring injury. His absence has contributed to a terrible period for the Latics, when they have been shorn of orthodox central defensive options. However, Martinez is finally starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
"Ivan is part of the squad now and is allowed to work with the group," said Martinez.
"He was on the bench against Everton on Boxing Day and has had an extra two training sessions since then.
"Is he able to play 90 minutes? It is too early for me to know that.
"I will find out pretty soon. He probably needs a bit more work but he will definitely be involved against Manchester United if not Aston Villa.
"That is a massive boost for us."
There may also be some positive news on the horizon regarding Antolin Alcaraz, who is yet to make an appearance this term after failing to shake off a groin problem.
"I expect Antolin to be back in the next 10 days," said Martinez.
"Thankfully, it finally seems we are over the bad spell we had with injuries and suspensions."