Sydney FC received a timely boost ahead of the city's first A-League derby with defender Pascal Bosschaart in line to make his return from a long-term injury.
The Dutch centre-back has not played in almost seven months after rupturing his Achilles tendon last season but returns to the squad for Saturday's sold-out clash with Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium.
Bosschaart played 30 minutes for Sydney's youth team last week and Sky Blues coach Ian Crook said he was in the frame to start against WSW.
It is welcome news for Crook, with Adam Griffiths set to miss several matches after injuring his hamstring in Sydney's 3-2 loss to Newcastle Jets on Saturday.
"Certainly he'll (Griffiths) miss a couple of weeks but on the plus side we look as though we've got Pascal back involved so we'll see how he pulls up tomorrow," Crook said on Thursday.
"He's got an opportunity (to start). We'll certainly have a look at that and probably make a decision more on that tomorrow.
"He's been training great and working hard and it's good to have him back in."
If he is declared fit, Bosschaart could replace Trent McLenehan, with Sebastian Ryall likely to come into the starting side after impressing off the bench against the Jets.
After a lengthy rehabilitation, Bosschaart said he was pleased to be back and on track to be fit for Saturday's match.
"I haven't played a proper match in almost seven months so it's going to be hard for me but I like challenges," he said.
Although only a new rivalry, Crook predicted the inaugural Sydney derby would be a "dog fight".
The Sky Blues are desperate for three points after losses in their two opening games of the season.
"AC Milan and Inter Milan, Liverpool and Everton, Arsenal and Spurs ... all derbies are dog fights and I'm not expecting anything different," Crook said.
Members of the Western Sydney Wanderers supporter group will be kept inside the stadium for half an hour after the game in a bid to avoid any clashes between rival fans on Saturday.