Sunderland defender Russell Anderson is expected to return to training next week following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Anderson, who completed a £1m move from Aberdeen to the Stadium of Light in July, has been out of action with an ankle injury since late August and has spent the last three months recovering from surgery.
His return will come at a welcome time for Black Cats boss Roy Keane, with the team keeping just one clean sheet in their last 16 Premier League matches.
"I've been injured for quite a while now but, hopefully, I should be back training in the next week or so," Anderson told The Northern Echo.
"Provided everything goes according to plan when I get back on the training pitch, I should be back in contention for the first team.
"But hopefully it won't be too much of a drawn out process from now on."
The 29-year-old has made just two appearances for Sunderland so far.
He started August's Carling Cup defeat at Luton and came on as a substitute at Wigan and the Scottish international is now keen to make a proper start to his career on Wearside.
"It feels as though I'll be making a new start to life here at Sunderland to be honest," he continued.
"It's not been the best of starts to my career down here, so this is a bit like turning over a blank page and starting again.
"I haven't had too many opportunities to show what I can do, but all I can do now is make the most of any chances that come my way.
"I need to do everything I can to get myself back into contention for the games, and that's what I'll be doing once I get the all clear to start joining in with everything again.
"It's been frustrating. I don't suppose there's ever a good time to be injured, but it was particularly disappointing to be ruled out so early in my Sunderland career."
Meanwhile, midfielder Kieran Richardson has returned to training this week following a back injury.
Keane, commenting on the return of Richardson and Anderson, told the club's website: "It's good to see them nearing a comeback, it will be like having two new signings.
"I know that both Kieran and Russell will be hungry to prove themselves when they're back and they have worked hard in their rehab."