Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt is on course to return sooner than expected from a shoulder injury.
The 30-year-old sustained the problem on international duty just over a fortnight ago and was expected to be out of action for a month.
However, manager Roy Hodgson believes the Dutchman could be selected in Saturday’s squad to face Sunderland or feature on next week’s Europa League trip to Kuyt’s former club Utrecht.
“Dirk has trained the last couple of days,” said Hodgson.
“We’re trying to protect him a little bit but he’s made a remarkable recovery, so it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in relation to Saturday’s game and the game next Thursday.
“We thought three to five weeks, so we’re at the quick end of the scale.”