Scunthorpe midfielder Jimmy Ryan could be a surprise inclusion in Alan Knill's squad for Saturday's home game with Carlisle.
Ryan, 23, who joined the Iron from Accrington in the summer for £55,000 plus performance-related clauses and a 20% sell-on fee, has been sidelined since mid-September due to cruciate knee ligament damage.
Knill told the club's official website: "Jimmy looks really sharp for somebody who's been out for so long. In fact so much so that we think we may give him a run-out in the reserves on Wednesday.
"The good thing is that it was him who came to us and said that he wanted to play. Our initial plan was to just ease him through training and see where he is with regards to the weekend, but he said he wants to play. Although I highly doubt that we'll give him the full 90 minutes."
Another summer signing, Damien Mozika, is also edging closer to a return following a foot injury that has restricted him to nine appearances since he followed Knill from Bury in the summer.
Knill added: "I'm hopeful he'll come in on Thursday, but he may not. Either way we know he's on the way back. Both him and Jimmy are key players for this team."