Jack Ross is preparing to welcome Chris Maguire back into his Sunderland squad.
The influential attacker has been missing for almost two months with a fractured fibula but is fit again and has had a full week on the training pitch.
It is a major boost for Ross with three crucial games in just over a week.
Maguire is unlikely to be able to complete 90 minutes in all of those but he will bring a different dimension that the Black Cats boss knows could be crucial.
"He has had a full week's training so we're hoping he'll be back in the squad," he said.
"Obviously he's been out for eight weeks now but we hope to have him in and around the squad.
"He only started training towards the end of last week and by his own admission, it's not easy after seven or eight weeks out.
"He knew he was a bit off it, not physically, just his touch and everything. So having a full week has been a big help in that regard.
"He's getting closer.
"At this stage of the season you always look for the ones who can handle the demands of these fixtures in terms of the pressure," Ross added.
"I think we've got quite a lot of them but he falls into that bracket.
"But more importantly than that, he's the only player of that ilk that I have in my squad.
"A natural number ten, that ability to play up and drop in, he's got that little bit of something different.
"It was a blow to lose them and getting him back to full fitness is a boost for us."
Ross will make a late assessment on Lynden Gooch, Adam Matthews and Reece James, who all returned to training on Wednesday.
It could be a big ask for them to return against Doncaster but particularly in the case of Gooch, Ross is hopeful of a possible return when the Black Cats travel to Peterborough United on Monday.
Sunderland's major concern is that Aiden McGeady continues to suffer from an impact injury sustained at Accrington Stanley.
McGeady returned to the squad last Saturday but Ross admitted he was 'nowhere near fit'.
"Lee [Cattermole] has had a full week of training so that's him back to full fitness," he said.
"Dylan [McGeouch] remains out.
"There's a few others that have only returned to training today, which obviously is the equivalent of Thursday normally, so we'll have to see how they came through that.
"Aiden is still a big doubt for us. Even getting that [substitute appearance] out of him last week was testament to his want to play but it wasn't ideal, he's got quite a painful injury at the moment."