Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson could be back in action when Sven Goran Eriksson's men tackle Everton in their next match on 25th February.
The highly-rated teenager was a key member of Eriksson's side as City made an impressive start to the season, but has been sidelined since December with a nagging abdominal injury.
Johnson came through a reserve outing for City's second string on Monday night and suffered no adverse reaction to his recent complaint.
Eriksson told the club's official website: "Michael did very well for 45 minutes, and the positive is that he had no discomfort afterwards.
"I hope he has no setbacks, and if things go as I think he would be ready for Everton."
But the Swede will not be rushing Bulgarian striker Valeri Bojinov back in to action after his long-term lay-off.
Bojinov, who damaged knee ligaments in August, was in action alongside Johnson for the reserves and scored in the draw with Newcastle.
Eriksson said: "Bojinov is not ready for the first team yet.
"It's like having a new signing but I doubt very much that he would be ready for Everton. But he's got a big smile on his face now, he's very happy."