Aston Villa striker John Carew could return from injury for the Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday evening.
The Norwegian international has been unavailable for Villa’s last four games because of a knee problem.
But the former Lyon player, who had lost his place in the starting line-up to Emile Heskey before the setback, is now back in training and making good progress.
Villa manager Martin O’Neill said: “John has been training the last few days now and has had no reaction. Therefore, in terms of fitness, he would be in better condition than he was last week.”
O’Neill will continue to monitor the fitness of skipper Stiliyan Petrov who has continued playing despite the handicap of an Achilles problem in recent weeks.
The midfielder needed an injection at half-time during the Carling Cup semi-final, second leg with Blackburn to enable him to complete the second 45 minutes.
O’Neill said: “We are just going to have to monitor Stiliyan. We have games coming up and he is keen to play on. This week, with no midweek match, has given him a bit of a breather.
“That is a good thing but we don’t have too many of those between now and the end of the season and we will have to see how it goes.”
O’Neill has also admitted he may not have sold midfielder Craig Gardner to Birmingham last month had Nigel Reo-Coker’s knee injury come to light earlier.
He said: “I think the deal for Gardner had already been agreed with Birmingham. If there had been a time-scale difference, I might have reconsidered it.”