Young striker Jerry Yates finally has the chance to force his into new Rotherham United boss Kenny Jackett’s first-team plans.
The 20-year-old suffered a groin injury just days after Jackett’s arrival last month and has been out of action.
But he returned to training this week boosted by the news that, if he proves himself, his manager will be happy to add him to the Millers’ attacking Championship options.
“He’s definitely not out of my thinking,” Jackett told The Star. “There isn’t a big enough number of forwards here.
“You’re looking at Danny Ward, Dexter Blackstock, perhaps Izzy Brown. After that, it’s Jerry Yates.
“There’s Peter Odemwingie perhaps, but he’s had more of a career as a wide man. Jerry is very much in the thinking but hasn’t been available.
“He had a groin injury. I saw him for one or two days early on, but then he pulled out with his groin.”
Yates trained for the first time on Thursday and today’s trip to Derby County will obviously come too soon for the forward who has emerged from Rotherham’s junior ranks.
He made five appearances earlier this season during previous boss Alan Stubbs’ 14-match reign, opening his senior account for the club with two goals in the 5-4 EFL Cup loss to Morecambe on August 9.
He featured as a substitute against Aston Villa, Barnsley, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers, but was unlucky against Forest when he had to be subbed himself just 15 minutes after entering the fray.
Right-back Darnell Fisher was sent off late on and the Millers sacrificed the youngster to bring on another defender in Stephen Kelly.
Right-back Cyrus Christie, who broke a bone in his foot before the international break, will be missing today for a Derby side who have been rejuvenated by new manager Steve McClaren.
After struggling at the start of the season, the Rams have won three and drawn one of McClaren’s five games at the helm.
Midfielder George Thorne, striker Nick Blackman and left-back Craig Forsyth are also sidelined, but left-back Martin Olsson is back in training.