John Brayford's return to Sheffield United first team action took a step closer after the full back played a full 90 minutes in the Blades' under 21 match against Barnsley.
Brayford is yet to feature for United under Nigel Adkins having picked up a serious knee injury in the first leg of last season's play off semi-final defeat to Swindon Town.
But a comeback could be soon with the former Cardiff City and Derby County defender having played 45 minutes in the win over Coventry last Monday, 77 minutes in the cup defeat to Leeds United on Thursday and now a full game against Barnsley which finished 0-0 yesterday.
Florent Cuvelier also played an hour as he also steps ups his recovery from injury.
Under 21s coach Chris Morgan told the club's website: "Flo did well, he came through an hour as planned and looked sharp. John has now had three games in a week, he has gradually built up the minutes and he is looking fit and strong. Importantly he feels good in himself, so he's edging ever nearer a return."