LUCAS Akins will be fit for Burton Albion's televised clash with Portsmouth on Sunday – but could have to wait for a return to the side.
The 25-year-old winger has missed the last two matches to allow his broken hand to heal.
It was a precautionary measure to leave out the summer signing from Stevenage – but boss Gary Rowett says the pacy wide-man has benefited from the rest.
"Lucas is fine," he said. "He feels a lot better for having some time off and I think the fact we've won both games has obviously vindicated that decision to rest him."
Akins broke his hand in the 2-1 win over Dagenham – but played on with strapping in the win over Exeter and draw at Newport County.
However, another knock to his hand at that point would have required surgery and kept the livewire forward out for around two months.
Rowett took the decision to rest him against Queen's Park Rangers and Mansfield – and that decision is now bearing fruit.
"I think he feels better psychologically and physically he's healed a little bit more," said the manager.
"You're never going to take away the fact that if we were to play him on Sunday and he falls on it or lands funny, something could happen.
"You can never take away that risk, but we've minimised that risk a little bit better.
"It's put us in a position where we haven't necessarily got to start him on Sunday if we don't want to."
Meanwhile, Rowett – who tomorrow is widely tipped to be named League Two manager of the month – is relieved that Robbie Weir's red card at Mansfield was overturned.
One or two of the players, though, were jokingly disappointed.
"Matty Palmer and Belly (Lee Bell) put an appeal in to have Robbie's overturned red card reinstated, so he could be suspended!" said Rowett.
"Seriously, it was certainly justice being done.
"Having watched the game again there was a lot of inconsistency which I'm not going to dwell on too much.
"But that's why I was so disappointed. It wasn't the one incident, but lots of incidents.
"I was disappointed with the way the game went.
"I've never come off from a game, regardless of the result, just being angry and disappointed.
"That soon dissipates, though, and you look at the positives and negatives. There's a lot to work on."