Derby's top-scorer Theo Robinson is on course to make his comeback from injury against Ipswich at Portman Road next weekend.
Robinson, who has netted six times this season, has been out since the middle of November with a hamstring injury along with fellow forwards Steven Davies and Nathan Tyson but he is making good progress in his rehabilitation.
On-loan striker Tamas Priskin is ineligible to face his parent club Ipswich on December 17th, so Robinson is being earmarked for a comeback in Suffolk.
"Theo is probably the closest of the three to making a return in reality because he has only been out for around three weeks," boss Nigel Clough told the club's official website.
"He is coming along well and if he progresses in the same manner then he will be in contention for the Ipswich game."
Media reports on Wednesday suggested Davies could make a dramatic return to the squad against Bristol City on Saturday after fracturing his skull in October but Clough added: "Until the specialist and surgeons give him the all clear we won't be taking any risks."
Clough also said Tyson is set to resume training next week. The summer signing from Nottingham Forest was due to train this week and take part in a practice match but he felt some discomfort in his groin and was not risked.