Manchester United have been handed a timely boost in their title quest as Wes Brown closes in on full fitness.
The England international has been out of action since November after undergoing ankle surgery.
The right-back told Sky Sports News on 11th December that he believed he would be back in the fray within four weeks, but the 29-year-old was delayed on his return.
The likes of Gary Neville and Rafael da Silva have stood in during Brown's absence, while Jonny Evans and John O'Shea are United's last line of defensive cover.
However, boss Sir Alex Ferguson, while stating his squad can manage without Brown, believes Brown's impending return will give his side a much-needed lift.
"Wes Brown should be back in two weeks at the very most - and once we get him back, we will be okay," Ferguson said ahead of United's clash with Wigan on Wednesday.
"You would want to have all your players available, particularly given the programme we have in January.
"But I think we can cope, because we have players who are versatile and can play in different positions."