Injury-jinxed Jackie McNamara, the Wolverhampton Wanderers right-back, has returned to serious first-team contention after doing all that was asked of him by manager Mick McCarthy in completing a full 90 minutes for the reserves.
McNamara, who missed most of last season following a cruciate knee ligament operation before suffering a pre-season hip problem, played in central midfield for the reserves in yesterday's 0-0 friendly with Coventry City at the Sky Blues' Ryton training ground.
He said: "The lads got a great result against Southend on Saturday so I know I've got to wait for my chance but the boss knows I'm now available.
"The last couple of months have really been a nightmare for me and, in a way, worse than the injury I had last season.
"Because that was a cruciate, I knew it was long term, whereas this has been a muscle injury and it's been very frustrating that it has taken much longer to heal than expected."
McNamara is competing with Rob Edwards to reclaim the right-back shirt although there is also a vacancy in central midfield this weekend at Hull, thanks to the one-match suspension that Seyi Olofinjana faces for being cautioned for a fifth time this season in the match against Southend.
But Liverpool loan man Darren Potter, left out to allow winger Lewis Gobern a start on Saturday, is set for a quick recall at the KC Stadium in his more natural position.
McCarthy said: "Darren is a central midfielder who has come here and played wide right and not complained once.
"He did well when he played in the centre against Chesterfield in the League Cup, which is the only time he's had a chance there because of the way Seyi and Karl Henry have been performing.
"Now he's got the chance to play in his rightful position and show us what he can do."
Top scorer Jay Bothroyd is still suffering from the shoulder injury he received in the 2-2 draw against Sheffield Wednesday ten days ago.
Meanwhile, Coven-try have appointed one of football's most travelled personalities over the last quarter-century as their goalkeeping coach.
Andy Dibble, who racked up 17 clubs in his playing days, has come to the Ricoh Arena as successor to Jim McDonagh, who left to join Aston Villa a month ago.
The Cwmbran-born stopper has been from Aberdeen to Altrincham in his 24 years in the game since joining Cardiff City as an apprentice in the summer of 1982, probably being best known for his time at Manchester City for whom he made 116 appearances, just under a third of his total career league starts. But, in all that time, he has only ever once briefly pitched up in the West Midlands when he was at West Bromwich Albion on loan in February 1992 under Bobby Gould.
Dibble, now 41, took up duties before Monday night's 1-0 away defeat to Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium - Coventry's sixth reverse in eight games - when he warmed up goalkeepers Andy Marshall and Rafa Gonzalez.
Coventry manager Micky Adams said: "Andy has a wealth of experience working at the highest level of football and I'm sure that knowledge will be an asset to us.
"Andy Marshall and Rafa Gonzalez will both benefit from working with him."