Steve Bruce received a significant boost yesterday with news that three of his key players are making progress with injuries, two of whom are likely to be fit to play for Blues against Stoke on Sunday.
Cameron Jerome, the striker, has recovered from the dead leg that forced him to pull out of the England Under-21 match against Spain this week. He sustained the injury during the match away to Colchester United last Saturday.
For Blues boss Bruce this is good news as his team have suffered a loss of form in recent weeks. With Damien Johnson also likely to play after recovering from the hamstring injury that he picked up during the match at Colchester, Bruce has expressed relief.
Just as significantly, even if it will not affect the match against Stoke, is that Mikael Forssell has returned to training and could be playing for the first team at some point this month.
Forssell has spent most of the season out with a knee injury. When he returns, Birmingham will have six strikers chasing two first-team positions.
Eric Black, Bruce's assistant, emphasised the relief at St Andrew's. "Cameron got a dead leg through an impact injury during the Colchester game," Black said. "Because of international rules he had to join up with the England squad for their medical people to assess him, but I think he'll be OK for Sunday.
"Damien had a tight hamstring after the Colchester game as well. He didn't play for Northern Ireland, but we hope he'll start training on Friday and then be available for Sunday.
"Mikael is progressing well and still working on his individual programme," Black said. "He hasn't joined the main group as yet, but I would think that would be imminent in the next eight to ten days."
Two Stoke players with a connection to Birmingham will be absent because of suspension. Salif Diao, once on loan with Birmingham from Liverpool, is banned because he has reached five yellow cards.
Meanwhile Lee Hendrie, still on loan with Stoke from Villa and alleged to be a childhood Blues supporter, has also reached five yellow cards.
Darel Russell is also suspended so Lee Martin and John Eustace are expected to slot into the vacated midfield positions.
Out of Birmingham's next seven matches, five are at home, giving hope that the team can recover from their recent decline. Black said: "Not having many games recently was a disappointment, because we weren't able to keep the momentum going which we built up before the New Year."