Paris Saint-Germain will be in Coupe de France last 16 action away at Niort on Wednesday and although Javier Pastore might not feature at Stade Rene Gaillard, his start and performance in last Sunday's 5-1 thrashing of bitter rivals Marseille was a big boost.
The Argentine international was a surprise member of Unai Emery's starting XI for arguably the most famous Le Classique away day in the capital club's history and seized his opportunity by impressing with a sublime assist for Edinson Cavani and a key role in Lucas Moura's goal too.
PSG coach Emery's attacking and creative options have been significantly boosted by Pastore's return and he spoke highly of the 27-year-old in his pre-match news conference on Tuesday.
"It is important that he is now able to train each day," the Spaniard told journalists at Camp des Loges. "When he is physically fit and feeling confident, he has the ability to play a different way to most other players.
"He can combine with others, with teammates he knows well," continued Emery. "We are pleased he is feeling good once more. If he can rediscover his old consistency, that will be great.
"With Javier, there is competition, so the pressure is on to perform every match."
Emery was not the only one overjoyed by Pastore's return to the starting XI and strong showing in Marseille. PSG CEO and chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi branded the fragile playmaker "an artist" after the final whistle at Stade Velodrome.
The Qatari president is not always right but when he is correct, he is usually right on the money. His description of Les Parisiens' No. 10 is about as accurate as it gets; the man from Cordoba is capable of producing things that only a few gifted players are capable of doing.
Pastore's delicate touch into Cavani's path and rabona pass in the build-up to Lucas' goal last weekend were proof of that.
If the former Palermo man can keep himself fit between now and the end of the season, not to mention produce a few more magical moments like he did in Marseille, then Emery and PSG will justifiably feel like they have made a new signing.
Pastore makes the French giants less predictable ahead of their UEFA Champions League last 16 second-leg encounter with Barcelona at the Camp Nou, while he enables his coach to swap between the usual possession-based 4-3-3 formation and a more attack-minded 4-2-3-1.
Emery is unlikely to risk him too much against Niort on Wednesday for fear of losing him for the visit of AS Nancy Lorraine in Ligue 1 on Saturday and for the away date at Barcelona next week but the simple fact that he is back and more than operational ahead of the final few months of the campaign is great news.
The former Sevilla boss is more likely to hand fringe figures, such as Goncalo Guedes and Christopher Nkunku, minutes away at Niort rather than align Pastore from the start but the Albiceleste creator is in the 19-man squad.
Instead, "El Flaco" is more likely to feature against Nancy at Parc des Princes this coming weekend before the trip to Barcelona.
Although PSG already lead 4-0 from the first leg, Pastore is the sort of player who could prove to be a game-changer against the likes of Barca and anybody else who might come after Luis Enrique's men -- assuming Emery's side can get the job done in Catalonia.
Pastore's mouth-watering outing in Marseille last weekend might just be an appetiser for what is to come over the final few months of the term from a player who is yet to completely secure his place in PSG's future plans -- despite his immense popularity with the supporters.