Port Vale could welcome James Gibbons back into the fold for Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash at home to Walsall.
The defender has been missing since early October but is stepping up his fitness programme following hamstring surgery.
Interim boss Danny Pugh will not be present for the match as he continues to self-isolate following a positive Covid test.
Frank Sinclair will be in charge but will be unable to call on the services of Tom Pope (arm) who has at least another six weeks on the sidelines.
Walsall could hand debuts to two players signed this week as the Saddlers aim for a first league win in six.
Jayden Reid joins on loan from Birmingham and Frank Vincent from Bournemouth to give boss Darrell Clarke more options.
Fellow loanee Tyreik Wright is also waiting to make his debut, the Aston Villa winger having been an unused substitute in Walsall’s last two games.
Rory Holden (knee) has been ruled out for the rest of the season.