Watford boss Walter Mazzarri is optimistic he will have several injured players back for the crucial Middlesbrough game this weekend.
The Hornets’ squad has been decimated over the festive period after a series of injuries.
But a number of players are making progress and could be back in the squad for Saturday’s home match.
Striker Stefano Okaka has been out with a hamstring injury since last month’s win over Everton but is nearing a return.
Defender Daryl Janmaat has been sidelined since suffering a leg injury in the draw with Crystal Palace on Boxing Day but is close to a comeback.
Valon Behrami played the first half against Stoke last week but the midfielder could only manage 45 minutes due to a hamstring problem. He is also in line to return against Boro.
Head coach Mazzarri said: “Yes I think Okaka is already back training with the team but of course needs more intensity in the training but should be back. It’s very similar with Janmaat and Behrami.
“They should be ok and I have very high hopes that step by step very soon we will have the full squad again available.”