Jody Craddock’s return from injury and status as Wolverhampton Wanderers’ captain might not be enough to win him back his first team place for this weekend’s visit of Burnley.
Craddock, who has been out with an Achilles problem since before Christmas, made a successful comeback in a reserve team outing against Hereford United on Tuesday.
But even though he came through more than an hour and played in a side that won 5-0, manager Mick McCarthy is in no rush to hasten his skipper’s competitive return.
Much of that is down to the impressive form showed by incumbents Rod Edwards and Neill Collins in last Saturday’s morale-boosting victory at promotion-chasing Preston North End.
"It's good to have Jody back," said McCarthy. "Looking at him I think he needed a runout because when you have an Achilles injury you can't really do much for about three weeks.
"Maybe a bit of swimming or going on the bike but nothing over-physical so you do miss a lot.
"I thought Neill and Rob did very well on Saturday and indeed against Plymouth the previous week when I couldn't really fault them for either of the two goals. Their performance on Saturday was excellent apart from one aberration each which they got away with.
"It will be great to have four centre halves vying for the positions because you need that competitive edge with people waiting on the sidelines wanting to play."
Having been a bit part player for the first half of the season, Collins has taken his chance since Boxing Day. For his part Edwards has deputised for the suspended Gary Breen who finishes his ban this weekend.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Wayne Henderson has extended his loan deal at Stockport County.
The Welsh youngster has already spent one month at Edgeley Park and is set to remain with the League Two outfit for another.
"The fans have really taken to me," the 19-year-old said. "They keep singing 'Wales Number One’. It's great to have that sort of support behind you and I am happy to stay."