Harry Redknapp insists Rio Ferdinand still has a part to play in QPR's survival bid as the former England captain returns from suspension.
Ferdinand (below) was hit with a three-game ban following comments he posted on Twitter but is now eligible to return at a key time for the R's - who are without Richard Dunne for the visit of Leicester tomorrow as he serves his own suspension having collected five yellow cards.
Former Manchester United man Ferdinand has endured a difficult start to life at Loftus Road having decided to be reunited with Redknapp at the twilight of his playing career.
He started the first seven Premier League games of the season, with QPR taking just one point and keeping one clean sheet in that time, before a groin injury saw him sidelined. Then he was handed his English Football Association punishment for his Tweet.
But Redknapp is now ready to welcome the 36-year-old back into the fold as the club enter a period of games which could prove vital to their top-flight survival.
"Absolutely, he can play a big role," said Redknapp.
"Hopefully he is going to be fit. He is going to train and we will assess his fitness. He has not played for a few weeks now. He had the suspension.
"We will have a look at it and see how he is. Rio does not have anything to prove to anybody. He has been a fantastic player for so many years. He is not one that I have to worry about."
Redknapp also leapt to the defence of Ferdinand's form leading into his lay-off, insisting he remains happy to have signed him over the summer.