Carlos Tevez is set to pull on a Manchester City jersey for the first time in five months on Tuesday in a reserve game against Preston, media reports said on Monday.
The game was to have been held at nearby non-league side Chorley FC on Wednesday but instead has been brought forward a day and will be held behind closed doors at City's Carrington training ground as Tevez returns having last week apologised "sincerely and unreservedly" for his recent conduct.
The Argentine spent more than three months in his homeland after City manager Robert Mancini vowed he would never again feature for the club having allegedly refused to come on as substitute in a Champions League tie against Bayern Munich at the end of September.
Having said sorry to City's staff he will use the reserve outing to work on his fitness without the media present.
His first team return is likely to be away to Swansea on March 10 as City - two points clear of United with 12 games remaining - step up their attempts to win the Premier League crown.
Until then Mancini is set to keep faith with in-form attacking trio of Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko, who all scored in the 3-0 home win over Blackburn and have hit 39 goals between them to date.
City coach David Platt told the Manchester Evening News having Tevez back would ensure healthy competition for his fellow forwards.
"When we've everybody healthy there are people going in the stand that could get into most teams in the Premier League, and we have a rotation of the squad.
"As and when Carlos is back, he'll add another number to that," Platt said.