Aston Villa defender Luke Young could return for the Birmingham derby after a spell on the sidelines.
The 30-year-old full-back has been out with a thigh problem and has also been recovering following the death of his half brother.
The former England defender was a regular performer in Villa's side last season, and Martin O'Neill believes he is returning to fitness after his spell of compassionate leave.
"Luke Young is improving his general fitness and feeling a bit stronger after his recent tragedy," the Villa boss said.
"I had a word with him and he said he is feeling a lot better. Physically he has got a bit of work to do but he is improving.
"Emotionally that is a different aspect altogether and that is something he will be able to tell you, but he is back here day to day.
"He will get an opportunity to take a day or two away any time he needs with our blessing. He needs as long as he needs. We will see. We will use this wee bit of time for him to reintegrate again."
Villa are currently two points ahead of arch rivals Birmingham with a game in hand, and Young could be given a place in the team for the crunch game at St Andrew's on Sunday.
"Is the Birmingham game realistic for Luke Young?" O'Neill added. "I would say at this minute physically there is no reason why it shouldn't be.
"I know he has got a bit of work to do and it is frustrating for Luke from the physical aspect, almost being ready pre-season and then having to come out of games at a few hours' notice.
"That is something that is a new experience for him but overall he is getting there."