Aston Villa midfielder Chris Herd is nearing full fitness after an ankle ligament injury saw him spend two months on the sidelines.
The 22-year-old had started to consolidate his Villa Park starting position following seven consecutive games alongside captain Stiliyan Petrov in midfield.
However, the Australian suffered a setback in December when he picked up the ankle injury which resulted in a prolonged stay out of action.
Villa boss Alex McLeish has been delighted with Herd's progress as he continues to work with the club's physiotherapist and steps up his rehabilitation.
"Herd is making very good progress," he said. "He is now working one to one with the physio who is putting him through his paces.
"He is not feeling his injury at all now which is great news and the kid is really positive about getting himself fit again to try and challenge to get back into the team.
"He was doing really well before the injury."
Herd recently signed a new three-and-a-half year deal which secures his services at Villa Park until 2015.