Birmingham City's chance of breaking down Aston Villa in this Sunday's derby have been enhanced by the return of three attacking options.
Creative midfielder Wilson Palacios, who was left out of last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Everton after the kidnapping of his brother in Honduras, has made himself available while there is also good news on striker Garry O'Connor and Mikael Forssell.
O'Connor has recovered from the groin strain he picked up at Goodison Park and will be ready in time while Forssell has returned from a hernia operation and scored two reserve-team hat-tricks inside a week. Both will come into contention for the Villa game, particularly if Bruce opts to offer target-man Cameron Jerome support upfront.
Bruce revealed that Palacios could be back in action. "Last week, after the news of the kidnapping, I felt he was constantly on the telephone into the early hours and wasn't mentally right," the Birmingham manager said. "However, I do believe we missed him slightly. He gives something to the team which Oubina would have brought - that composure on the ball and ability to pass it.
"He comes into the equation again and he's made it clear he wants to get back out on the pitch again before he flies home."
After Sunday, the 23-year-old will fly to represent his country against Guatemala in Miami. Bruce has also claimed that Mat Sadler could come back into the squad after playing in the reserves, on account of the fact that, as a Birmingham-born player, he understands the pressures of the derby.