Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon has received a double boost after experienced defenders Tam Scobbie and Paul Quinn returned to training following injury and illness respectively.
The former has been out since damaging his groin against Dundee in the Betfred Cup at the start of August while the latter has missed the last three league games after suffering a heart scare caused by an infected tooth.
Both have now recovered however McKinnon has stressed they will only be considered for a return to the first-team once they are fully fit.
The manager said: “Tam is back training and so is Quinny.
“Quinny has been given the all-clear from the cardiologist and it is just a case of bringing him up to speed again gradually.
“We might play a practice match for them on Thursday or Friday.
“We have to get their rehabilitation right. They probably need two or three weeks just to get really fit again.
“At the start of the season we were playing a lot of guys who weren’t fit which isn’t great so nobody is coming back into the team now until they are bang at it.”
While there is better news on the defensive duo, midfielder Scott Fraser is still being hampered by a screw inserted into his foot during surgery.
McKinnon added: “Scott is the only one who isn’t training right now.
“I think they are going to leave the screw in for a year but we will just have to monitor him.
“He was a bit down last week as it keeps recurring and he is suffering setbacks but he is in good spirits now.
“It has been frustrating for him and really stop-start.”
Meanwhile, United have been drawn against Northern Irish opposition for the second round in a row in the Irn-Bru Challenge Cup.
The holders will face Crusaders at Tannadice in the quarter-final on the weekend of November 11/12.
The Tangerines beat Linfield on Saturday thanks with a team packed with kids and McKinnon is set to put his faith in youth again.
He added: “It is a great tie at home and will be another chance for our youngsters to shine.
“They did really well against an experienced Linfield side.”