The struggling English premier league football side Blackburn Rovers hope injured All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen will be able to return to the field in early in the New Year.
Nelsen's played only one game premier league this season back in August due to a knee operation.
Manager Steve Kean has told the club website that Nelsen played in a recent friendly match against Carlisle United and it's now a case of regaining match fitness.
Rovers are second to last in the competition and trying to stave off relegation having won only two of their 15 games of the season.
Meanwhile the wages of players are safe and the club is not in financial crisis, the club owners say.
British media reports have suggested Rovers could run into financial trouble at the start of next year as Barclays bank will not extend its credit facility.
But Rovers' owners, Indian poultry company Venky's, deny there's a financial crisis and there's no danger to the players and staff not getting paid.