Chris Wilder has revealed that Kieron Freeman is edging ever closer to a return to first-team, but insists the Blades must be patient in the rehabilitation of David Brooks following a bout of glandular fever.
Freeman won't be involved against Aston Villa, but Wilder says the outlook is looking much brighter for the former Derby County man.
He remarked: "We've got no fresh issues, we're in good nick and came through the FA Cup tie unscathed and with the correct result.
"Kieron (Freeman) needs some games to get his match fitness back up to the levels required. He's been out for a long time and it was a nasty injury.
"We've had a few serious contact injuries this season, but we're delighted Kieron will soon be back and pushing for a place in the team.
"He faces a real fight with George (Baldock) for a shirt though. George is such a good kid, he drives the game forward and has loads of energy to get up and down the wing.
"Those two, pound for pound will be excellent competition and I believe they are two of the best wing-backs in the division on their day."
Meanwhile, the progress of Brooks will be much slower and will have to be monitored to avoid potential setbacks.
Wilder added: "David (Brooks) is training full-time now, but it might take quite a while to get him back up to playing 90 minutes because it's a serious medical issue he's overcoming.
"He can only do a set amount of minutes per game, he will possibly play for 15-20 minutes for the U23s next week and gradually that will be built up over the coming weeks."