David Murphy is closing in on a return to action at Birmingham after nine months on the sidelines.
The full-back fractured a knee cap during a Championship fixture with Watford back in April 2009.
He has been out of action ever since, missing out on the Blues' promotion push and their subsequent impressive progress in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old has, however, taken his first steps on the road back to Alex McLeish's starting XI.
He came through a 45-minute run-out in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Hereford on Tuesday unscathed and is now looking to kick on.
McLeish admits Murphy is still some way off a return to first-team duty, but the Scot is delighted to see the defender back in action.
He said: "David was blowing a bit after 45 minutes. He felt his legs. They were almost jelly-like.
"But it is good progress for him because two months ago he was in despair after suffering a setback. He was really down at that stage."
McLeish has also revealed that he expects veteran frontman Kevin Phillips to be fit again inside two weeks, with the 36-year-old currently nursing a minor groin tear.
"Kevin has had a chronic groin during the last few weeks and it flared up a bit in a challenge during a practice match on Friday," said the Blues boss.
"But I don't think he will need surgery. It is a grade one tear which means it shouldn't keep him out too long. It is a 10-day job."