Birmingham striker James McFadden is close to returning to full training after six months out of action with knee ligament damage.
McFadden is stepping up his rehabilitation work, with boss Alex McLeish admitting City have missed the quality of the Scottish international this season.
But he will resist the temptation to rush the former Everton player back into action before he has made a full recovery, and said: "Faddy is doing some work with the physio on the training field and he's at a good level. The healing process of the ligament is nearly complete."
He added: "He is not far away and once the specialist scans him again and says the ligament is now healed completely, he'll make the push.
"It would be a big boost to have him back. The more the merrier. But we will make sure he is right.
"His first season here he was tremendous, then got a knee injury, came back and wasn't at the same level because he hadn't quite healed.
"You always miss a player like James McFadden and the options that he can give you.
"He is a fantastic talent. I thought this year was going to be his year because last season was a great psychological boost for him.
"By that I mean he played his first whole season in the Premier League whereas at Everton he was little bit of a bit-part player."
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