Nottingham Forest have received a timely boost with the news young defender Michael Dawson has played 90 minutes for the reserves.
Dawson has been linked with several Premiership clubs
Dawson has suffered a stop-start campaign having had glandular fever and tearing his hamstring three times.
But the 20-year-old played in Forest's 3-1 defeat against Derby at the City Ground in front of boss Joe Kinnear.
Dawson could make his first-team return when Forest travel to Millmoor to play Rotherham on Saturday.
The news is a welcome relief for Kinnear after striker David Johnson revealed he may not play again this season.
Johnson broke his leg in a league game in September and is slowly working his way back to fitness.
"I'm not sure when I'll be back. It could be six weeks or next season when I return; I don't know," said Johnson.
"I'm not putting a timescale on things; I'm just taking it step by step."
He told the Nottingham Evening Post newspaper: "All I know is, the quicker I get training the better."