Wayne Rooney is close to returning for Manchester United after stepping up his recovery from an ankle injury.
The England striker has been sidelined since being substituted after 68 minutes against Leicester last month.
He missed the games against West Ham, Wolfsburg and Bournemouth - with United failing to record a win without him.
But Louis van Gaal has been boosted by the news that Rooney is moving freely and without discomfort.
It means that he could make his first team comeback against Norwich at Old Trafford on Saturday.
His return can't come soon enough for United, who have now gone five games without a win - seeing them crash out of the Champions League and slip six points behind Leicester in the race for the title.
Despite coming in for fierce criticism this season, Rooney remains United's leading scorer with seven goals in all competitions.
Van Gaal's side have looked short of a cutting edge this season. Their total of 21 goals in the Premier League is the fewest of any of the top five clubs in the table.
Meanwhile, David De Gea has rubbished talk of dressing room unrest at United.
There were reports this week that the players had openly questioned manager Louis van Gaal's tactics after the 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday.
But De Gea has played down talk of unrest within the squad and insisted the dressing room is 'united' despite the poor run of results.
He said: "There's a great atmosphere. The dressing room is very together and united, they are a great set of lads and we're all very happy with the group of players that we have and I think that's really important in a team if it wants to achieve big things.
"I think we have a very young side and I think that the youngsters who are coming up through the youth ranks are fitting in really well.
"They are all good players and after all they represent the future of Manchester United and I reckon that gradually they will become the side of the future and we're all delighted that they're with us.
"We know that the month of December is always a tough one with a lot of fixtures, and the tiredness can build up, so we need to come out of it at the end with a few good results."