Aston Villa's leading scorer Gabriel Agbonlahor could return after injury for the home Premier League clash with Burnley on Sunday.
Agbonlahor, who has netted 12 goals this season, missed the 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace in the FA Cup with a leg injury suffered in the previous game with Manchester United in a challenge from Wayne Rooney.
But he has returned to training and Martin O'Neill is keeping his fingers crossed there will be no reaction as Villa gear up for a crucial week which also includes the replay with Palace and the Carling Cup final against Manchester United.
O'Neill said: "Gabby has trained and hopefully there will be no reaction. He was very sore. It is a soft tissue injury. I think Wayne Rooney went through him with about 10 minutes left of the United game.
"Gabby has been excellent for us all season and to have him back, naturally, would be a boost."
O'Neill is also hoping Emile Heskey (groin), Stiliyan Petrov (ankle and Achilles) and Stephen Warnock (shin) will have recovered sufficiently to face the Clarets.
The trio all featured against Palace but have been less than 100% fit in recent weeks.
O'Neill gave his players a few days off this week to recharge their batteries after a recent demanding programme and hopes they will be refreshed for the challenges ahead.
He said: "There are people here like James Milner and Gabby who don't want to miss games even though they were playing until the end of June with the England Under-21s last summer.
"But it is important when there is the opportunity to give them the odd few days to rest up."