Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic could make a surprise comeback in Wednesday's Champions League game against Cluj.
Vidic has been out of action since September after undergoing knee surgery but is back in full training.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed his captain could now make an appearance in the low-key game against Romanian outfit Cluj at Old Trafford.
"It would be nice for him to play on Wednesday," said Ferguson. "We are not afraid of that.
"He has started training, which is good news. He has not been involved in the real competitive part but he has done OK.
"The best way is for us to leave it to 'Vida' himself. He has the experience to know what is best for him and when the time is right for him to come back into the team.
"He would be short of match practice but I wouldn't be averse to playing him on Wednesday."
United are already assured of finishing in top spot in Champions League Group H and Ferguson is likely to give a number of his fringe players a run-out on Wednesday ahead of the derby showdown with Manchester City the following Sunday.
Centre-back Vidic, who last played for United in the 1-0 win over Galatasaray on 19 September, could be in contention for the game at the Etihad if he comes through the Cluj tie unscathed.
The 31-year-old was initially not expected back until Christmas after undergoing a meniscus operation on the same knee that he injured last season but his rehabilitation has gone well.
However, winger Nani, who has been missing for United since the beginning of November with a hamstring injury, is facing another month on the sidelines.
"Nani is going to be out for a longer spell, possibly another four or five weeks," said Ferguson.