Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell could be just 10 days away from a return to action.
The luckless 24-year-old has completed another week of training with the senior squad after returning from his second serious knee injury in as many years and manager Steve Bruce is hoping he can get some football under his belt before becoming available for first-team duties once again.
Bruce said: "The good thing we can report is that Fraizer Campbell has come through another week of training with the first team."
He added: "Touch wood, at the moment he looks remarkably good for somebody who has been out for the best part of a couple of seasons.
"We hope he can play in a game in the next 10 days or so, and let's hope we can get Fraizer Campbell up and ready. That would be a massive boost to everybody because he has been out that long, we have forgotten what a very good player we have lost over the last few months."
Campbell joined the Black Cats from Manchester United for an initial £3.5million during the summer of 2009 and scored seven times in 36 appearances for the club during his first season.
However, he tore a cruciate ligament just four games into his second campaign and then suffered a recurrence of the injury in training on his return.
His loss has been compounded by the departures of fellow frontmen Darren Bent, Danny Welbeck and Asamoah Gyan, and Bruce admits his return cannot come quickly enough.
He said: "Fraizer Campbell is a very, very good player. We hope he can shake off the injury. He has been out for the best part of two seasons, which has been tough for him.
"But I have to say the way he has trained and the way he has played, his infectious enthusiasm around the training ground is a joy to watch for somebody who has been badly injured like he has. He will give the whole team and the whole club a lift if he can get back to playing the way he was."