Sol Campbell could return to the Arsenal side at Manchester City on Saturday after coming through a reserve game unscathed on Monday.
The England defender played 90 minutes in a 4-0 win over Coventry to the delight of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
"I will give him time, but it could be short as he does not have fitness problems and it is a case of seeing how he reacts to injury," Wenger said.
"We could consider him for the next game, as we need defensive stability."
Campbell has been recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, aggravated while playing for England in Euro 2004.
And his return will also lift England coach Sven-Goran
Eriksson, whose side face Wales in a World Cup qualifier at Old Trafford early next month.
Wenger added: "It was great to see Sol out there. He was
playing in a good side with good young pros and it was his first game since the
"It has been nearly three months and for us to have him back just before the
winter period is a tremendous boost.
"He can help us and we miss players of his quality, but the team has done
well since the start of the season."
Dutch striker Robin van Persie, making his Arsenal reserves debut, scored two stunning goals in the 4-0 win.
Another new signing, Frenchman Mathieu Flamini, opened the scoring just before
half-time and Dutch youngster Quincy Owusu Abeyie doubled the lead early in the