Mauricio Pochettino has been boosted by the news that Neymar is back in training at Paris Saint-Germain, with the Brazilian forward stepping up his recovery from an ankle injury.
The 28-year-old has been out of action since facing Lyon on December 13. A full-blooded challenge from Thiago Mendes forced the South American superstar onto the sidelines, and he has not been seen since.
Much has changed at Parc des Princes since Neymar last took to the field, with Thomas Tuchel having been relieved of his managerial duties in the French capital.
Former Tottenham coach Pochettino has been appointed in his place, with the Argentine having plenty of early problems to contend with.
Neymar has formed part of that, while Presnel Kimpembe and Leandro Paredes have also been nursing knocks, along with Mauro Icardi, Danilo Pereira, Juan Bernat, Layvin Kurzawa and Alessandro Florenzi.
Rafinha, meanwhile, has been ruled out after contracting Covid-19, meaning that Pochettino has had to get creative with his team selections.
PSG’s list of absentees is, however, starting to ease. Kimpembe and Paredes have joined Neymar in making a return to the training field, while Kurzawa, Florenzi and Icardi were all included in the matchday squad for a 3-0 win over Brest.
That victory was Pochettino’s first in the most demanding of posts, with the plan being to kick on from this point.
Neymar’s return will be expected to aid that cause, with the Brazil international proving to be a prolific presence during his time in France.
PSG would have liked to see him involved in the clash with arch-rivals Marseille on Wednesday, but that contest may come too soon.
Just two training sessions will be taken in before facing what promises to be another keenly-contested derby date.
No risks will be taken with Neymar, given his value to the cause, and his return to competitive action may have to be nudged back slightly. The same is true for Kimpembe and Paredes, who cannot be expected to step straight back in for such an important fixture.
Pochettino is, however, getting close to full strength, as he seeks to deliver on expectations back in France, and Neymar may come into contention for the Ligue 1 meeting with Angers on Saturday.