Stoke City's Danny Higginbotham has returned to training after six months on the sidelines.
The 32-year-old defender has returned to full training after he ruptured cruciate knee ligaments against Chelsea in April.
Despite his injury, Stoke boss Tony Pulis included Higginbotham in his 25-man Premier League squad and now he is set to challenge for a first-team spot again.
Another long-term absentee, Ricardo Fuller, is also closing on a return after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in April.
"Ric is doing really well, but is perhaps a couple of weeks behind Danny," Pulis told The Sentinel.
"But Danny is back in full training and that has given everyone here a massive boost.
"Having let Danny Pugh and Danny Collins go on loan, we have put our faith in Danny to be part of the squad.
"He has been a great player for this football club and we are really pleased to get him back."