There have been plenty of injury woes for Chester FC manager Jon McCarthy to contend with this season but it appears that things may finally be taking a turn for the better.
Ross Killock, aside from a brief substitute appearance at Macclesfield Town in October, has been sidelined for the entire campaign up to now with a calf injury while striker James Akintunde has missed the last two months of action with a damaged ACL.
Add to that the more recent injuries suffered by winger Craig Mahon and Sam Hughes and the treatment table at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium has been a busy one.
Defender Killock took to Twitter last weekend to suggest that a return to action may be edging closer, but McCarthy won't be rushing the former Leeds United man back until he is ready.
McCarthy, usually guarded on the injury front, joked: "He's a nightmare, isn't he? There's me being defensive and my players go and tweet out they are coming back.
"He's excited, though, very excited. He's on the next step and he's out on the training ground and it's great to see him out there and he is very popular with the lads.
"Maybe he is trying to give me a little push. I'll have to get the reins on him. He's done a lot of work and it's great to have him out there. He'll do a big session today (Thursday) and hopefully comes through that, and then it will be the next stage and bringing him back training with our group and it can move quite quickly from there."
Killock looked to have finally put his injury woes behind him when he replaced Theo Vassell at Macclesfield back in October, but his return lasted less than 10 minutes as his hamstring problems reoccured when he lunged for a loose ball.
And McCarthy says that it has been a lonely road for the 22-year-old.
"He has done all the lonely hours since Macclesfield," he said.
"It gets really lonely. You get a bit of attention for a couple of days and the people forget about you. It's been a couple of months grinding out, doing his work. He is getting close and we just want to make sure everything is right for him. He is a good addition for us."
Another player who is on the road to recovery is 20-year-old striker James Akintunde, who has been out of action since the beginning of November after damaging his anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) in training.
He had shown plenty of promise before being sidelined and was set for an extended run in the team, but now McCarthy hopes he will be back in time to show what he is capable of well before the end of the season, with Akintunde set for a visit to St George's Park National Football Centre in Burton-upon-Trent next week.
"He is at another stage where he is still sore but we had some encouraging news but I don't want to get too optimistic about that at the moment as it can put pressure on him," said McCarthy.
"But we've had some slightly pleasing news which means he can up his workload. He has been a loss to us as he was showing some really good signs."
Teenage defender Sam Hughes is another who has received positive news on the injury front.
The in-demand 19-year-old missed the 2-1 win at Braintree Town on Saturday with a swollen ankle picked up in training but he could be in contention for the FA Trophy visit of Forest Green Rovers on Saturday (3pm).
Said the Blues boss: "He has another session today and says he is feeling loads better. It depends on how it gets through it. He would play through anything and when you are that age you don't want to miss any games. But if he's fit then he comes back into the reckoning.
"Ankle injuries can be 10 days, two weeks or eight weeks. He is definitely on the shorter end of the scale."
Craig Mahon, who has been sidelined with a pulled adductor muscle, is back in training, although Saturday may come too soon.