West Ham United midfielder Kieron Dyer is finally set to end his injury nightmare by playing in Saturday's FA Cup tie against Barnsley, after 17 months out with a broken leg.
Dyer, 29, needed three operations after suffering the injury in a League Cup tie at Bristol Rovers in August 2007, and then had his return delayed earlier this season by a stress fracture.
The England international has made just three appearances for West Ham since completing a £6m move from Newcastle United two years ago.
But he has impressed manager Gianfranco Zola in training this week, and he is poised to be included in the squad for this weekend's third-round tie.
Zola said: "He's focused and he's very excited to play and we will try to get him back because he's an important player. I've seen him training, he's trying very hard and he's got a lot of qualities.
"I know it's been a big injury for him and he's been working well in the last few weeks. I know it's frustrating because he's training, training, training and he would like to play.
"After such a long time out it would be difficult for him to be involved from the beginning."