Andrew Davies is ready to throw himself into the mix for a shock Capital One Cup final place at Wembley.
City’s defensive strong man is still on the recovery trail after three months out with a knee injury.
With Rory McArdle’s chances under threat after damaging ankle ligaments against Fleetwood, Davies is confident he can hand Phil Parkinson a timely boost before the February 24 showdown with Swansea.
Davies has not kicked a ball since the end of October when he hobbled off at Burton – the same afternoon which saw fellow centre half Luke Oliver written off for the season.
But having joined City for their recent break in Tenerife to test his fitness, the 28-year-old reckons he can force his way into the Wembley shake-up.
Davies said: “Is the final too soon? No. I’ve been in the gym, swimming, rowing, cycling – I’ve literally done every exercise I can to keep on top of things.
“It means that when I do come back, I don’t have to go running with (fitness coach) Nick (Allamby) for two weeks to get fit.
“All the hard work I’ve put in over the last three months will hopefully pay off. I’ve started my running and, to be honest, I feel absolutely fine.
“Of course you need to play but I don’t think three months out of football is all that long. It’s gone so quick since my last game and I’m ready to rock again.
“Hopefully I’ll be back training in the next couple of weeks and then it’s up to the manager. The lads have been fantastic but I’m here to give them any experience to get them through.”
Davies had an operation within days of suffering the injury but has made sure he has stayed part of the group during City’s history-making run.
Having played in the first three rounds, he would have relished locking horns with the Premier League sides they have already knocked off.
“You think to yourself ‘where’s your luck gone?’ after playing in the earlier rounds,” said Davies.
“But it’s been exciting. It’s very good for the club and the lads have done brilliantly – it’s a credit to them and the manager.
“You can see the buzz in the lads’ faces. I’ve been lucky enough to have played in some big games earlier in my career.
“For these lads to play against Arsenal and at Villa Park is a massive dream. I said to them before to enjoy every second of it because you might never get that chance again.
“Since I joined this club, I’ve always still felt I can play in the Premier League again. I would have loved to have played in some of those games to see where I’m at now.
“I don’t think there’s much different to my game now from when I made my debut at 18. But I’m more mature and feel I’ve become a better defender with experience.
“It would have been interesting to be up against those top players. But never mind, it wasn’t to be. You’ve got the final, so you never know.
“Injuries are part of the game and unfortunately I got one at a bad time. But I suppose that’s what you get when you put your body on the line.
“I’m ready now to come back into contention and I’m excited about that.”
* Matt McClure gave Wycombe a surprise 1-0 win at second-placed Gillingham in League Two last night.
McClure came on as a substitute to net the winner in the 85th minute.
The Bantams host Gillingham on Saturday.