Rangers captain Barry Ferguson is ready to make his long-awaited comeback - but manager Paul Le Guen insists there are no guarantees he will walk back into the team.
Ferguson had surgery on a long-term ankle problem at the end of last season, before picking up a heel injury during pre-season, meaning he has not played a first team game since April 15.
The 28-year-old midfielder came through 60 minutes of a reserve game against Hearts and will be hoping to play some part in Saturday's visit of Falkirk in the Bank of Scotland Premier League.
But Ibrox boss Le Guen has told the inspirational skipper he must fight for his place in the team like every other player.
'I'm not obliged to include him in the squad,' he said.
'I know that he is an important player for Rangers but I work for the whole squad.
'The comeback of Barry is important but Brahim Hemdani, for example, has done very well from the beginning of the season.
'Barry is back, great, but I want to speak about all the players.'
Asked whether Ferguson must fight for his place, Le Guen replied: 'That's obvious and it's normal. Why not?
'I don't believe in selecting players on reputation.'
And the skipper's armband is likely to make no difference to Le Guen when selecting his team either.
'There is no guarantee a player will play in the team,' he added. 'That's impossible.
'It's important to have a good captain but first of all it's important to have a good player.'
Chris Burke is also back in contention after recovering from the ankle injury he sustained in a friendly against Zenit St Petersburg.
But goalkeeper Lionel Letizi looks set to remain on the sidelines for another week.
The Frenchman missed the 2-2 draw at Kilmarnock with a calf strain and was optimistic of reclaiming his place between the sticks against Falkirk.
Le Guen will make a late decision but Allan McGregor looks likely to be given the nod again, with Stefan Klos still recovering from a shoulder injury.
'We are not sure,' Le Guen said of Letizi's involvement this weekend. 'Perhaps we will wait one week more. I will make a decision tomorrow.'
Le Guen has also yet to decide where Sasa Papac will fit into his plans.
The Bosnian international was recruited from Austria Vienna on transfer deadline day and, despite being bought as a centre-half, his versatility means he could be used in other areas.
'He is in Sarajevo,' said Le Guen. 'We will let him come back and we will see. I will have a chat with him.
'But it's too early to speak about my decision on where he will play.
'He's left-footed and he is able to play centre back and left back.
'These two options are important for me so it's great for me.
'It's a good recruit for us.'