Henri Camara hopes to grab his chance at Wigan Athletic tonight.
Camara is set for his second start of the season in the Carling Cup fourth round against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, with Heskey set to miss out with a hamstring strain.
The Senegal star has had to sit on the bench in all but one of his side's 14 league and cup matches so far this season, the exception being the Carling Cup second round clash with Notts County when he scored twice.
Camara said: "Even if you haven't been playing you have to be ready for when your chance comes, because if you're not ready you could blow it for the rest of the season.
"I've played in a World Cup so I know all about the big match atmosphere. I will certainly be ready mentally and also from a physical point of view. I hope I will get my chance.
"Playing against Arsenal is always a pleasure from a striker's point of view because they are a ball-playing team so there is always plenty of space to run and express yourself."
Camara has found his chances at a premium this season due to the form of new-boy Amr Zaki, who has struck eight goals already this season in tandem with Heskey.
But Camara is keen to strike up a good partnership with the Egyptian, adding: "We played together once before and scored three goals. It was a good understanding.
"He's the anchor man and I play around him, which I like.
"It's great to be back and this is the football I want to play. This is the way it is in football. You have to be patient and sometimes you hope the manager will give you your chance because I've got a lot to prove at this club."