Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri is back in contention for this weekend's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Chelsea.
The France international has been sidelined since suffering knee ligament damage in a tackle from Newcastle's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa five weeks ago.
Nasri rejoined the squad for full training earlier this week and his return, after two games without a win, is timely ahead of next Tuesday's Champions League encounter with Barcelona.
The 26-year-old had been in fine form before being carried off on a stretcher at St James' Park, but manager Manuel Pellegrini does not want to build up his comeback.
Pellegrini said: "He is a very important player, it is impossible not to miss him.
"But we also had other injured players before him - David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Vincent Kompany - and we always managed to continue winning.
"In the last two weeks I said this was not an excuse because we have had a lot of injuries during the year.
"In the last two weeks maybe we have had injuries in the same position and that has been a major problem.
"Samir Nasri is a very important player and we always miss him, but with the squad we have I think we can also win without him."
Two other key players in top scorer Aguero and midfielder Fernandinho remain on the sidelines but Javi Garcia is also fit again after a muscle strain.
Pellegrini said: "I think it is very important to have players, Samir Nasri and Javi Garcia, fit for this game. It is very important for us.
"(Matija) Nastasic, Fernandinho and Aguero are not fit for this."
City had an unexpected night off on Wednesday as their Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland was postponed due to inclement weather.
That could affect his team selection for the visit of Chelsea but, with the Barca encounter also at the forefront of his mind, he is cagey about revealing his thoughts.
Speaking at a press conference to preview the match, the Chilean said: "Tomorrow we will see the 11 starters."
A calf injury to Gary Cahill means a defensive reshuffle is required for Chelsea.
Cahill requires a scan to ascertain the severity of the injury and has joined John Terry (muscular strain) in the treatment room.
Right-back Branislav Ivanovic is likely to be deployed at centre back, Cesar Azpilicueta at right-back and Ashley Cole will come into the side at left-back.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho described Arsene Wenger as "a specialist in failure" as he responded to the Arsenal manager's Premier League title race taunt on Friday.
On Friday morning Wenger declared the title is Chelsea's to lose and insisted anyone who claims their team are not in the race does so out of fear of failure.
Mourinho has repeatedly played down Chelsea's chances of winning the Premier League this season, describing his side as the "little horse" in the race and making them third favourites behind Manchester City and the Gunners, despite currently leading the standings.
"He is a specialist in failure. I'm not," said Mourinho.
"If supposedly he is right and I'm afraid to fail, it's because I haven't failed many times.
"Maybe he's right. Maybe I'm not used to failing.
"The reality is he is a specialist. Eight years without a piece of silverware, that's failure.
"If I do that at Chelsea, eight years, I leave London and I don't come back."