Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has revealed at his pre-match press conference that Ron Vlaar and Joe Cole are both in contention for this weekend’s Chelsea clash.
Vlaar has been out for over a month after being forced off in the 15th-minute of the 0-0 home draw with Crystal Palace on New Year's Day with a knee problem, while Cole has missed the past two games against Bournemouth and Arsenal due to a hamstring issue.
Both could feature on Saturday afternoon when Jose Mourinho’s side visit Villa Park, however, provided they come through a final training session ahead of the match.
"Ron has trained this week. We will see how he is tomorrow,” he said. "But you must remember than Ron hasn't played for a long time.
"However, if he comes through tomorrow, he will be in the squad.
"Joe has trained this week. We will see how he is tomorrow too. Those two lads are looking pretty good. They are getting there.”
Lambert also provided a positive update on long-term absentees Philippe Senderos and Libor Kozak, who are both stepping up their rehab with running sessions.
Summer signing Senderos hasn’t featured for Villa since injuring his calf while with the Switzerland national team in November, while Kozak has now been sidelined for more than 12 months with a broken leg.
On Senderos, he said: "He has started running. Hopefully there's no adverse reaction."
Kozak’s comeback bid was scuppered in October when he was forced to have his leg re-pinned due to complications, setting his return date back several months.
Lambert still isn’t sure whether the Czech striker will feature this season, but added: “Libor is doing well. He is doing well with his rehab.
"He is out there running. But it's too early for him."