Sheffield United boss Danny Wilson is hopeful Kevin McDonald can prove his fitness for the forthcoming festive fixtures.
Wilson revealed he almost selected the influential midfielder, who has been sidelined with an ankle problem, in the Blades' 0-0 draw with fellow high-flyers Tranmere on Saturday.
In the end, Wilson opted not to risk the 24-year-old, instead deploying Ryan Flynn in a central berth.
"I am hoping Kevin will be available for Crawley (on Saturday)," Wilson told the Blades' official website.
"I was amazed how close he got to being fit at the weekend.
"We wanted Ryan to try and create from the centre of the park. With all due respect to David McAllister, he is a different type of player - more of a box-to-box midfielder."
After visiting Crawley, Wilson's men entertain Scunthorpe and Hartlepool before new year hoping to move into the League One automatic promotion places.
Wilson believes their cause will be boosted by the return of striker Dave Kitson, who made his comeback from a hamstring strain against Rovers.
He added: "It was great to see Kits back because he will offer us so much in the coming months, but he needs time on the pitch now.
"He gave everyone a lift, especially the fans, because he is already something of a hero with the Kop."