Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said club captain Vincent Kompany could return from injury for their visit to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.
The 30-year-old defender has not featured since he damaged knee ligaments when he collided with team mate Claudio Bravo during their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Nov. 19.
"Kompany trained -- he's back," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.
"Hopefully he can play and be able to be used for the second part of the season."
The Belgium international has been hampered by muscular problems in recent seasons and has not played a full match for City in the current campaign.
"We can't deny how good Vincent is but his mentality is strong -- he knows exactly what he has to do," the Spaniard added.
"We don't have time in this business but he has to feel his manager and team mates will give him time to come back."
The weekend's encounter will also see City defender John Stones returning to Goodison Park after making the move from Merseyside for 47.5 million pounds ($57.67 million) at the start of the season.
Guardiola, however, said he is confident that Stones can cope if he receives a negative reaction from the Everton supporters.
"He (Stones) is strong. In terms of action he is strong - I would like a player to come back to Man City for fans to respect him but I'm not concerned about Everton (fans)," said Guardiola.
City are currently sitting fourth in the league with 42 points from 20 games, but could move up to second with victory over seventh-placed Everton.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)