Paul Connolly is in line for a possible comeback against Preston North End next week after returning to full training with Leeds United.
Connolly has overcome a minor hamstring strain and is set to be considered for Tuesday night’s visit to Deepdale after a month-long absence.
United have ruled him out of tomorrow’s Yorkshire derby with Doncaster Rovers at Elland Road.
The right-back, whose place in Leeds’ starting line-up is currently held by on-loan Aston Villa youngster Eric Lichaj, will be missing for the fifth successive match this weekend but is approaching full fitness.
Connolly remains on the threshold of a two-match ban having moved onto nine yellow cards before injuring his hamstring in Leeds’ home win over Coventry City last month, but the return of a reliable squad member would be a welcome development for manager Simon Grayson.
Grayson said: “Paul trained on Tuesday and again yesterday but he won’t be in contention tomorrow.
“It’s too early for him still and I don’t want to rush him back but if he gets a few good days behind him then he might be available for Preston.”
Connolly has been joined on the sidelines by Lloyd Sam, who is suffering from a virus and has not trained this week.
Grayson revealed that illness had prevented him from using Sam in last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Swansea City but the winger is also likely to make himself available for the game at Deepdale.
“Lloyd was out with a virus last weekend and he hasn’t trained yet,” said Grayson. “He’s one of the few who won’t be fit tomorrow.”
Centre-back Patrick Kisnorbo remains on the absentee list at Thorp Arch with Leeds still to confirm a fixed timescale for his return from the ruptured Achilles tendon he sustained almost 12 months ago.