Arsene Wenger is hoping Robin van Persie will be back in contention for Arsenal before the end of the season.
The Gunners have been without the services of their talismanic striker since he suffered a serious ankle injury while on international duty with Holland in November.
It was feared that Van Persie's absence would leave Wenger short on a cutting edge, having bagged eight goals in 15 appearances at the start of this season, but the Frenchman has fared admirably without his leading marksman.
A 2-0 victory over West Ham on Saturday moved Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League table, while the North London outfit are also readying themselves for a mouth-watering quarter-final showdown with Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.
There can be no doubt, though, that the Gunners would rather Van Persie was in their side as they chase down major silverware, and Wenger is optimistic regarding the Dutchman's chances of returning during the end of season run-in.
"There is still a little chance for Robin van Persie this season," Wenger revealed in his programme notes ahead of the meeting with the Hammers.
"We are following his progress and physically he is quite sharp, but once he is ready to kick the ball again and returns from his rehabilitation, it will still take him another three weeks.
"This means that, even if he came back next week, adding another three weeks on would still take him nearly into May."
Wenger has also revealed that Aaron Ramsey is making positive progress in his rehabilitation from a badly broken leg, with the Welsh starlet having visited the training ground last week to help boost his morale.
"He is walking unaided, which has been requested medically, and is in a better state now," he said.
"There is no euphoria, but just to get in touch with your team-mates rather than sitting at home helps you when you are in that kind of situation.
"He is a strong boy, but of course you cannot demand that a football player is happy when he cannot play football."