West Brom midfielder Claudio Yacob could return from six weeks on the sidelines in the derby against Aston Villa at the weekend.
The Argentina international has been sidelined with a hamstring problem since the Premier League clash with Stoke at the Hawthorns on December 1.
However, Albion assistant boss Kevin Keen is confident Yacob is close to ending an absence which has so far cost him eight games.
"Claudio is a really key player and, let's be honest, we've missed him," said Keen.
"He's got a really big role in the team and earlier in the season, we saw how important it was.
"He has had a little bit of a setback which slowed down his recovery and we've taken it slowly this time to ensure he is okay.
"We're hopeful he will be back, if not for this weekend, then the weekend after."
Shane Long (dead leg) and fellow striker Marc-Antoine Fortune (hamstring) should be fit to face Villa leaving Zoltan Gera, who has a long-term knee injury, as the only absentee.