Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted Spurs have missed Victor Wanyama this season as the midfielder nears a return.
While Saturday's clash against sixth-placed Burnley will come too soon for Wanyama, Pochettino is hopeful the 26-year-old can play an important role over the festive period.
"We need to see how he reacts, his knee," said Pochettino, whose Tottenham are seventh and a point behind Burnley.
"But it's a very good feeling from him. We will see when he can be involved again. Last season, he was such an important player for us.
"And this season, it's true. In a position that you need to be strong, we have missed a player like him.
"It will be fantastic if, as soon as possible, he can be again involved and available to be selected because he is a very good player; a very important player for us."
Tottenham assistant Jesus Perez added: "During pre-season, on the same day, he had two incidents. And he carried on training.
"Then, we went to America and he played some minutes against PSG [in a friendly] and then we protected him until the second game of the season against Chelsea.
"And he had a bad reaction from that game. We tried all the conservative measures to avoid anything major [such as an operation] and, so far, it has worked well.
"And he has reacted very well to the last couple of training sessions."