Alex Neil has revealed Callum Robinson and Louis Moult could be back for Preston North End’s game against Birmingham on Saturday.
The pair have both been battling hamstring injuries and their returns would give the Lilywhites a big lift in their push for the play-offs.
Ten-goal forward Robinson has been out since the end of November having limped out of the 4-1 win over Blackburn with a problem that needed surgery.
Moult looked set to make his comeback against former club Stoke at the end of January only to limp out of the warm-up.
“Callum and Louis Moult have made great progress,” Neil said.
“We’ve got an eye on them potentially for the weekend.
“Touch wood, we’ll see how it goes.”
Tom Clarke, Brad Potts and Tom Barkhuizen could also all return having missed the games against Blackburn and Middlesbrough.
“I’m very hopeful they’ll make this game,” said Neil.
“Pottsy was probably the closest to playing at Middlesbrough.
“We just didn’t think he was quite right and what I didn’t want to do was put him on the bench, use him for 20 minutes and then aggravate it.
“Hopefully we’ll have him with a clean bill of health come Saturday.”
One player set to miss the game is Alan Browne who limped off 22 minutes into the win at the Riverside Stadium with an ankle problem.
“It’s always worrying when Alan comes off the pitch because he’s not the type of lad to do that unless it’s a proper injury,” said Neil.
“We’re naturally concerned about it.
“It’s not one where I’m looking thinking ‘this could be a long period of time’ but it’s certainly concerning for the weekend.”