Paul Lambert says Jores Okore could be back from a long-term knee injury in a matter of weeks.
Okore was expected to miss the rest of the campaign after suffering a ruptured cruciate ligament back in September.
But the Danish defender - who arrived at Villa from Nordsjaelland last summer - is closing in on a return after making good progress with his rehabilitation.
Lambert revealed Okore is set to be back ahead of schedule.
"Jores is doing great at the minute," he said.
"I think he is in a good place at the moment with his knee.
"Hopefully with bit of luck he won't be too far off.
"He won't be in the squad for a few weeks but he's come back quicker than we actually thought."
The Villa boss also said Libor Kozak is recuperating well after breaking his leg in training last month.
"Kozak is doing well too from his point of view," said Lambert.
"So the long-term ones are starting to get there but it's still a bit too early."
Meanwhile, there are no fresh injury concerns for Villa ahead of this weekend's trip to Newcastle.
"Everybody seems pretty good at the moment," added Lambert.
"The last game obviously was at Cardiff and everybody seems pretty fit."
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