John Brayford could return for Derby County when they host Bristol City on Saturday.
The defender, who was voted player of the year last season, has missed the last two games against Brighton and Crystal Palace due to a thigh injury.
He had already been sidelined for six matches in October and November after tearing a thigh muscle before making a brief return to action against Hull City and West Ham.
Midfielder Paul Green has been filling in at full-back in his absence but manager Nigel Clough is hopefully the 23-year-old will shake off the latest setback in time to face the Robins at Pride Park.
He told the club's official website: "He has got a chance. We will know more as the week unfolds but we are not ruling him out.
"Paul Green has done very fell at right-back but we want John Brayford back."