Fit-again Kevin Phillips is determined to make up for lost time over the final four months of the season after making a compelling case for an Aston Villa first team return this weekend.
After scoring on his reserve team comeback against Birmingham City last week, Phillips bagged another brace for the second string in Tuesday night's 5-2 win over Manchester City.
And, although manager David O'Leary originally had him earmarked only for the bench for this Saturday's FA Cup clash against Port Vale, he must now be tempted to start the former England striker.
Villa's front two of Milan Baros and Juan Pablo Angel were punchless at White Hart Lane in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hot-spur, not managing a shot on target between them.
And, although O'Leary has admitted that Baros and Angel were his intended first choice pairing back in August, Phillips' greater goal threat and sense of team awareness has repeatedly swung the vote.
The only stumbling block has been his fitness record.
A calf injury kept him out a month in September. And he has now been missing for another two months with an ankle problem, meaning that he has started just ten of Villa's 23 Premiership games.
But 32-year-old Phillips is keen to prove the sands of time are not catching up with him, claiming "I'm not injury prone.
"When you're at this stage of your career, people start putting it down to old age. But the fact is an ankle injury is an ankle injury. It doesn't matter whether you're 18 or 35 or whatever.
"Things started really well when I scored after four minutes of my debut against Bolton. Unfortunately, since then, I've had niggly injuries and this ankle injury has been disappointing.
"But, while I'm obviously not 100 per cent yet, this was another good run-out for me.
"I felt good. I felt fresh enough, and it's been a good couple of weeks for me. Whether I'm ready for the Port Vale game or not is up to the gaffer, but as far as I'm concerned, I want to be involved."
While having Phillips back in contention is as close as O'Leary will get to having any 'new players' during the January transfer window, the Villa boss insists that the market remains quiet with regard to any more outgoings.
With now less than week to go to the closing of the window, there have been no moves for any of his supposedly more unsettled first team squad members Mark Delaney, Ulises De La Cruz and Lee Hendrie.
"Rumours mean nothing to me," said O'Leary. "I deal in facts not in paper rumours.
"The facts are when the manager of another club or the player's agent rings up - and that hasn't happened.
"Players nowadays don't tell you they want to leave.
"They tell their agents to say 'I'm unhappy here, get me a club."