Stoke manager Tony Pulis has confirmed that Jonathan Woodgate is in contention to start the club's Carling Cup tie at home to Liverpool on Wednesday.
The former Leeds, Newcastle and Tottenham defender has been forced to sit out the Potters' last three games thanks to a calf problem.
Until that point Woodgate had started six of the club's first seven league games, allaying fears that he was still suffering the after-effects of a succession of serious injuries that have blighted his career.
Thanks to their Europa League commitments Stoke have already played 17 competitive games this season, meaning Pulis is set to shuffle his pack for the clash with the Reds at the Britannia Stadium.
The Welshman confirmed that Woodgate was being considered for selection, but his fitness will be closely assessed by the club's medical staff before a decision is made.
"He was back in training yesterday and he's back in again today," Pulis told The Sentinel.
"We will take a long, hard look at him to make sure he's right, but we definitely want him back in for the Liverpool game if we can. He's a top defender and we want him out there."