Andy Webster could be in line to make his debut for Wigan against Manchester United on Saturday, live on Sky Sports 1.
The Scottish international has had to work hard on his fitness since joining The Latics from Hearts after missing out on pre-season training following a dispute with his former employers.
Webster only had his transfer to The JJB Stadium ratified by Fifa in September after invoking a loophole in European employment law, and has yet to make his bow for Paul Jewell's side.
However, Webster made another step back to match fitness by playing 90 minutes for Wigan reserves against Newcastle on Monday night, and is now a possible choice for the home clash against The Red Devils at the weekend.
Arjan De Zeeuw and Fitz Hall have been Paul Jewell's favoured central partnership so far this season, but the Latics boss is keen for his Scottish stopper to increase competition in his backline.
Current incumbent De Zeeuw meanwhile is keenly awaiting the visit of Sir Alex Ferguson's title hopefuls.
"Last year's game against United was a great game," De Zeeuw told the Manchester Evening News.
"We felt we deserved something but it will take another big effort at the weekend.
"I'm fully expecting to see Manchester United challenging for the title this time."
The Dutch defender also highlighted United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a major threat as the Red Devil continues to recapture his best form after a lengthy absence due to injury.
"It's great to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer back from injury, he's a great pro and a very good player but he's very difficult to play against.
"He's so sharp and alert, you have to watch him or else he will strike."