James McFadden is hoping to deliver new Scotland boss Alex McLeish a major boost by returning from injury before next month's crucial Euro 2008 qualifier with Italy.
The Everton forward is currently sidelined with a broken foot, which he picked up in a freak training ground accident whilst playing head tennis.
At first it was feared his whole season could be over, but the former Motherwell star is hoping he can be fit for Scotland's match in Bari on 28th March.
"I've not given up hope of playing against Italy, although I'm not going to put stress upon myself to get back for it because that can only lead to disappointment," he said.
"I've got an outside chance of making the Italy game. I'm hopeful I can.
"There is nothing negative about the way I'm approaching my recovery but if I'm not ready, I'm not ready."
McFadden, though, insists he will only play if he feels he is fully fit.
"If I play in a reserve game and feel I'm a mile off the pace, then I'm not going to say I'm ready to play against Italy away in a game that's massive for us," he said.
"If I'm fit, and the manager thinks I'm fit, and I'm honest with myself then I'll be ready to play, but I'm not going to kid anyone. No-one will benefit from me telling people I'm fit if I'm not.
"I've got a pin in it so it should be easier for me to return to training as I can put a bit more pressure on it sooner than if I didn't have a pin.
"If you have a pin you can go through the pain barrier because you know it's there and will help you.
"Because of the pin we can be a bit more aggressive and get back sooner than later."