Nyron Nosworthy is 'desperate' to aid Sunderland's relegation fight but admits that time is rapidly running out.
The Black Cats have just two games left, away to Portsmouth and then at home to Chelsea, in which to preserve their top flight status as they currently stand two points clear of the drop zone.
Defender Nosworthy has been sidelined since tearing his hamstring in January before suffering a setback as he attempted to work his way back to full fitness with the reserves last month.
But the full-back is keen to aid the cause by keeping spirits high among Ricky Sbragia's squad, even though he finds it tough to be watching on from the sidelines.
He told the club's official website: "I've learnt that you never say never in football, so I wouldn't rule it out completely, but the priority has to be ensuring that I get myself properly fit.
"It wouldn't be good for anybody if I came back into the team too soon and got injured again. I've been working really hard to get myself right and I'll talk everything over with the manager, but it looks as though the games are running out.
"I'm devastated not to be playing. Being injured is the worst thing and so frustrating. I'm desperate to get out there to play my part and help the rest of the team, but if it's not to be, I have to do all I can off the field.
"That means turning up for work with a smile on my face, even if I have been injured. It's no good moping around the place, particularly when there's so much at stake and I'll be doing my best to keep the boys bubbly.
"We all know it's been a difficult season, but we're all confident we can get over the finishing line. We've worked so hard as a club to get into the Premier League and then stay there."