Derby defender Jay McEveley is on course to make a quick return from knee ligament damage in time for the Rams' Premier League clash with Wigan later this month.
McEveley has missed the last seven games and it was feared he would face a much longer spell on the sidelines after sustaining the injury against Bolton on 2nd January.
But there is mixed news for Rams boss Paul Jewell with Tyrone Mears ruled out for the rest of the season with a recurrence of the shin injury he first experienced with his former club Preston.
Jewell told the Derby Evening Telegraph: "Jay is looking quite strong and we'll have to see if we can get him running on the pitches later this week.
"Maybe he'll be back for the Wigan game, possibly. The two-week break after Saturday gives us an opportunity to try to get him fit."
But Mears is set to be sidelined after having a pin inserted in a bid to finally end his nagging shin complaint.
Jewell added: "It's a nasty injury and Tyrone will be out for the season."