Reda Johnson could return for Sheffield Wednesday in Saturday's Championship clash with Charlton at Hillsborough.
The towering defender has been absent since mid-September with a long-term foot injury but played for over an hour in the development squad's clash with Derby on Tuesday.
While Owls boss Dave Jones concedes Johnson was understandably tired following his return from a lengthy spell out, he is hopeful the 24-year-old will be fit enough to make the squad.
Wednesday, who are looking to build on the crucial three points they accrued at fellow strugglers Barnsley last Saturday evening, will be without striker Jay Bothroyd, who is troubled by an ankle problem.
Jones expects the ex-Cardiff forward to return to training on Sunday in time for the Boxing Day clash with Bolton.
Gary Madine has declared himself fit despite being withdrawn due to a knee injury against Barnsley after a brutal challenge from Stephen Foster, which the Owls striker suggested was pre-meditated.
Defender Jose Semedo is missing, though, due to a cut on his knee which Jones insisted they would treat with caution.
Jermaine Johnson has been declared fit despite toiling with a hamstring strain in recent weeks while Nejc Pecnik has shaken off a knock.
Jones did, however, reveal he was dealing with an "off-field problem" surrounding a mystery player which may force his hand when it comes to naming his XI.
Dale Stephens serves a one-match ban for Charlton after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season at Bolton last weekend, so Bradley Pritchard is likely to be recalled.
Striker Ricardo Fuller is hoping to return over Christmas after a hamstring injury but the trip to Hillsborough may just come too soon.
Rhoys Wiggins remains on the sidelines with a foot injury and fellow full-back Cedric Evina is recovering from a knee operation. Midfielder Andy Hughes is still some way from returning from an Achilles problem and young striker Ade Azeez has a hamstring injury.