Aston Villa striker Darren Bent is expected to be fit to face Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day.
A thigh and groin injury has caused the £18million signing to miss his club's last two matches against Liverpool and Arsenal.
Bent was also embarrassingly spotted shopping while Villa were losing to Liverpool last weekend, although McLeish played down any suggestion of bust-up.
The Villa boss is now hopeful the England international will be able to return to the squad for the difficult trip to Stoke.
McLeish told his club's official website: "Benty is very close. I'd like to think he's round the corner now.
"We thought he might be ready for the Arsenal game, but he was still feeling it a little bit over the last couple of days.
"But I'd hope with treatment and rest that he will be ready to come back. We are certainly expecting him to be ready for Monday."
Chris Herd has also missed Villa's last two matches and McLeish has confirmed the Australian will still be missing for "a couple of weeks at least".