Paul Coutts must fight to reclaim his place in Sheffield United's starting eleven, manager Chris Wilder has admitted, after recovering from long-term injury.
The midfielder, who has not featured at senior level since breaking a leg in November, could make an appearance in the squad which visits Millwall this weekend after taking part in three development fixtures and a series of behind-closed-doors sessions.
Speaking last month, Coutts acknowledged the form of Oliver Norwood, John Fleck and John Lundstram meant he "had it all on" to secure a place in Wilder's team.
No special treatment:
Although he is expected to provide Coutts with an early opportunity to stake a claim, Wilder said: "Couttsy will have to go through the same processes as everybody else. That's the way it works. There is competition."
If Coutts misses the trip to The Den, it seems almost certain he will feature against either Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday or Hull City three days later.
"We know what Couttsy can do," Wilder said. "We know what a good player is he. We also want that competition as well."