Gianluigi Buffon returned to training with Juventus after nearly two months out injured.
The veteran goalkeeper — who turns 40 next Sunday – last played in the 1-0 win over Napoli on December 1 and has struggled with a calf injury since.
Buffon will now be in contention to face Chievo in league action on Saturday, but the injury could have scuppered his chances of equalling Paolo Maldini’s record of Serie A appearances by the end of the season.
With 629 appearances so far and 17 games remaining in the Serie A campaign, even if he played in all remaining games Buffon would just miss the former AC Milan defender’s record of 647 appearances.
Buffon, who joined Juventus from Parma in 2001, has said he will retire after this season. He has started just 10 of the Turin giant’s 21 Serie A games this season.
He also missed two Italian Cup wins as well as the 2-0 victory against Olympiakos in the final game of the Champions League’s group stage.
Italy’s World Cup winning manager Marcello Lippi has urged Buffon not to retire.
“If I could, I’d tell him to retire when he feels ready because I think that deep down, the appearance record in Serie A could interest him,” Lippi told Radio Rai.
“When he has finished playing, he can take a couple of years out, enjoy time with his family, disconnect and think long and hard about what he wants to do.”