Marc Albrighton is hoping to help out during Aston Villa’s survival run-in after recovering from a broken foot.
Albrighton has resumed training at Bodymoor Heath and is targeting a return to Premier League action next month, as the claret and blues battle to preserve their top-flight status.
The 22-year-old winger has endured an 11-week spell on the sidelines since fracturing a metatarsal in the early January FA Cup victory over Ipswich at Villa Park.
It has compounded a season of frustration for Albrighton, which started with a similar problem sustained last August that ruled him out of the first month of the campaign.
The injuries have restricted the academy graduate to five league and cup starts and six substitute appearances in a year when he was determined to kickstart his claret and blue career.
Having made his senior debut in the ill-fated UEFA Cup exit at CSKA Moscow four years ago under Martin O’Neill, he became a first-team regular in Gerard Houllier’s team in 2010-11.
But he failed to reproduce his exciting form during the Alex McLeish reign last season and was hoping to impress Paul Lambert this term in the knowledge his contract expires in the summer of 2014.
Meanwhile, goalkeeping veteran Shay Given is prepared to continue his patient waiting game on the bench during Villa’s battle to stay in the Premier League.
Given has played only two league games this season and has since lost his place to Brad Guzan
The 36-year-old former Ireland goalkeeper said: “I’m just keeping my head down and hoping to get a chance. To be fair to Brad he’s been playing some great stuff.”