Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany could make a quicker than expected return to action at Southampton this weekend.
Kompany was expected to be ruled out of action for three weeks after picking up a calf injury during last month's FA Cup win at Stoke.
The Belgian international has missed City's last two games against Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool where they have dropped four points in the title race.
Kompany has been working hard on his fitness and Manchester City first-team coach David Platt admits he has a chance of playing against Southampton at St Mary's.
Vincent Kompany could return for Manchester City on Saturday - to give in a timely boost to their flagging title hopes.
"The injury problems aren't as bad now," he said. "There is nothing definite to say Vinny will make it for Southampton, but he has a chance."
City also welcome back Yaya Toure at Southampton after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast and Platt was being coy on whether the midfielder's absence affected the team's recent results.
"It's hypothetical to talk about what we might have done with Yaya in the team," added Platt.
"You miss every player that's not there.
"We have put a squad together and you want everybody fit and available, but you can't be dependent on one player because when he gets an injury you throw everything away."