Ryan Nelsen has handed Blackburn a boost by declaring his availability for the end of season run-in.
The influential New Zealander had been expected to miss the remainder of the campaign having been sidelined for the past 10 weeks.
Nelsen went under the surgeon's knife after playing through the pain barrier for the majority of the first half of the season, and it was anticipated he would play no further part in Rovers' bid for a European berth.
His problem stemmed from an operation he required in the summer of 2006 to reattach a hamstring tendon that had been torn off the bone; with Nelsen having never satisfactorily recovered from the surgery.
He is now, though, confident that he has adequately strengthened the muscles around the tendon and could return for Blackburn this weekend.
Own worst enemy
"I'm my own worst enemy because after the operation I just wanted to run and train, but I did so far too early and it really cost me," remarked Nelsen.
"I knew something was wrong because I was playing horrendously.
"I just didn't have my explosiveness and the speed I normally have. It just wasn't there, which was extremely frustrating.
"But in wanting to put it right I'd get out there and train and play, but by doing that I was hurting myself even more.
"It reached the point that even when I was walking it was hurting, so I had to put my hand up and say 'this is getting ridiculous'.
"Quite a few medical heads then got together, I had scans, and when a surgeon saw it he told me get off it for four weeks.
"I was basically playing on a tendon I shouldn't have even been walking on.
"My hamstring was pathetic and the tendon was taking all the tension. I was trying to do things when it couldn't handle it.
"At the time, when the surgeon told me how bad it was, I thought I could be out for the season.
"But I got my head down, headed to the weight room to get the muscle strong, and the stronger it has become the less pain I've felt, which seems so simple looking back.
"So I made sure I was comfortable with my strength and that I could handle it before I started to run again.
"Now my lungs are spitting up some cobwebs, but at least the injury is okay."
With Christopher Samba suspended, Nelsen looks certain to face Reading on Saturday and the 30-year-old is both delighted and relieved to be back in action.
"I'm glad to be back helping the boys out for the last seven games when I thought it would be curtains for the season," added Nelsen.
"As long as I'm involved and contributing, then that will be good enough for me.
"We're in a decent position, and if Europe comes along at the end of the season, then brilliant."