Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola knows he eventually has to take a "risk" and play defender Vincent Kompany.
Kompany, 30, has endured yet another injury-riddled season, having been sidelined since November due to a knee injury.
But the Belgian is nearing a return and could face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup on Saturday.
"Sooner or later we have to take a risk," Guardiola said.
"In the next games he's going to play. I don't know if tomorrow or in the next game, but maybe in the next games he's going to try and play."
Kompany has made just five appearances in all competitions this season, having played 22 matches last campaign.
Guardiola said he was pleased to have the defender back and healthy, regardless of when he makes his return.
"He's fit. That is the most important thing. He's been training a long time now and he feels good," he said.
"The next factor is it's been a long time since he played and we have to evaluate his condition and how we want to play.
"But he has a lot of experience and I think he's going to handle it as quickly as possible.
"Important is his physical condition. He isn't injured anymore in the last month and that is the best news for us."