Defender Shaleum Logan is set to ease Aberdeen’s injury crisis by targeting a comeback against Celtic on Saturday.
The Dons right-back has been sidelined for three months having undergone ankle surgery in February.
Manager Derek McInnes confirmed the 31-year-old has returned to training and has the weekend’s showdown against the league leaders in his sights.
Celtic need just one point at Pittodrie to secure the Premiership title crown.
McInnes faces an injury nightmare with skipper Graeme Shinnie, Niall McGinn, Gary Mackay-Steven, Connor McLennan and Tommie Hoban all out.
Defender Andy Considine is also suspended having been sent off in the 2-0 loss to Rangers at Ibrox.
However, Logan is set to deliver a timely boost by returning to action for the first time since a 4-1 Scottish Cup defeat of Queen of the South on February 10.
McInnes said: “All being well Shaleum should be involved in the game against Celtic, which is a boost. He was back training last week and has done some bits of work.
“Rangers came too quick for him but he will hopefully get a full week’s training this week.
“He has worked extremely hard so hopefully Shaleum gets his reward for that. Having him back would help us.”
Logan suffered ankle tendon damage in February’s defeat of Queen of the South and had to be taken off in the cup game.
His long-term absence was the latest blow for boss McInnes in the weeks after the January transfer window closed.
On-loan Tommie Hoban suffered a season-ending cruciate ligament injury in February.
Hoban returned to parent club Watford and is expected to be ruled out until October.
Defender Hoban is out of contract at Watford at the end of the season although the Hornets will oversee his rehabilitation.
McInnes has admitted he would be keen to potentially sign Hoban next season if he is fit and available.
In reaction to the Logan and Hoban injuries, McInnes secured free agent Greg Halford on a short-term deal.
Former Cardiff and Wolves defender Halford has made just one substitute appearance with midfielder Dom Ball preferred in the vacant right-back role.
McInnes said: “Shaleum has always had the Celtic game in his sights.
“That would be his target for the timescale to come back if he had ticked all the boxes, to be available for that one.”
In another fitness boost, winger Gary Mackay-Steven has also stepped up his recovery and training schedule.
Mackay-Steven has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury in the 1-1 Scottish Cup draw with Rangers on March 3.
McInnes is hopeful the winger, who is set to go out of contract, can return to action before the end of the season.
“We are still hopeful that he (Mackay-Steven) can be back before the end of the season,” said McInnes.
“Gary’s training and running has started to increase his work load. He will not be back for Celtic but maybe before the end of the season.”
If Mackay-Steven can return to action before the end of the season at Hibs on May 19 it would deliver a boost to Aberdeen’s Euro bid as all of the Dons’ recognised wingers are out injured or struggling.
Niall McGinn is out for the season with an ankle injury and is set to undergo surgery. Teen winger Connor McLennan limped off early in the loss to Rangers after suffering a hamstring tear.
He is out for the game against Celtic and the Dons fear he could be ruled out for the season.
McInnes said: “McGinn is getting his operation.
“We are really short of wide players and hopefully we can get one or two coming back.
“We are also without Shinnie.”