Middlesbrough have three major injury concerns as they prepare for the Premier League match against Aston Villa.
Julio Arca, Mido and Fabio Rochemback are all doubtful for Saturday's fixture at the Riverside as Boro look for their first win since the beginning of September.
Arca (knee ligaments) has been out for two months, while Mido has been hampered by a groin injury - and Rochemback recently sustained a leg injury.
Boro coach Colin Cooper said: 'Arca, Mido and Rochemback are not ready at the moment. But they are making progress, and we'll wait until the last possible minute before making a decision.
'Obviously it's a big bonus to get players of this quality back on the pitch, or even on the bench.
'Arca is back in full training, but Saturday's game may come a little too early for him.
'Mido started like a house on fire but has had one or two niggles since.
'But we are getting closer to having key personnel back in the squad, and we are looking forward to the chance to get players back on the pitch again.'
Boro have suffered a succession of injuries throughout the season and are just one place above the relegation zone.
Andrew Taylor is ready to play through the pain barrier after an injection in his troublesome foot injury.