Phillip Cocu is confident that Derby County duo Krystian Bielik and Jack Marriott will be fit to face Reading this weekend.
Derby will face the Royals at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick-off) in what will be their final Sky Bet Championship fixture before Christmas.
Poland international midfielder Bielik has been hindered by a niggling hip issue in recent weeks, limiting him to one appearance in the Rams’ last four matches.
Striker Marriott, meanwhile missed last weekend’s home game against Millwall with a minor muscle problem.
Cocu is confident that if the pair will be available for selection to take on the Royals.
With Derby hampered by injuries throughout the season, the return of the duo will provide the Derby boss with a welcome boost ahead of the trip to Berkshire.
Speaking to RamsTV, the Derby boss said: “Krystian Bielik is looking good; he has trained and was on the bench in the last game against Millwall.
“He has trained without any problem this week and he is 100 per cent fit.
“Jack Marriott will get involved in training today and hopefully if it goes well, he will be available for the weekend.”
Cocu says defender Matt Clarke is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation work.
The on-loan Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back has been sidelined since the local derby clash at Nottingham Forest in early December.
While he is edging his way back into training, Clarke is not quite at the stage where he can be considered for game situations.
“With the more long-term injuries, Matt Clarke has been partially involved in some sessions, so he is way ahead of schedule,” Cocu explained.
“He will not be involved in the game on Saturday, but for the team it is good that he joins the squad in the sessions. The other players out injured, such as Mason Bennett, Graeme Shinnie and Tom Huddlestone, will need some more time.”