ROTHERHAM United are hoping defender Joe Mattock will return next weekend to boost their League One play-off push.
The left-back has been out of action with a back problem since limping off during the 3-0 win at Gillingham on November 2.
However, the injury has eased and the 29-year-old is in line to rejoin training this week and declare himself fit for the trip to MK Dons.
"He says he is feeling a lot better," said manager Paul Warne after watching his side beat Accrington Stanley 1-0 last Saturday to climb into sixth spot.
"His straight-line running is fine. It's just the whole thing of twisting his upper body which is causing him pain.
"The physios have told me he will train with the group on Tuesday - or Thursday possibly - in time for the MK Dons game."
Rotherham have been further strengthened by the recovery of striker Kyle Vassell who has been sidelined since the end of August with hamstring and calf issues.
Vassell, aged 26, made his comeback ahead of schedule by taking his place on the bench for the victory at AESSEAL New York Stadium over Stanley.
Warne had ruled him out of contention for that game but said: "He trained on Thursday and Friday and was pretty amazing to watch.
"He's good in training. He demands a lot from his teammates, which is good. He needs a bit more fitness work. It's good to have him back.
"Had the Accrington game taken a different turn I'd have brought him on for Crooksy (Matt Crooks)."
The reserves are scheduled to play at Mansfield Town on Tuesday afternoon.