Dundee United defender Gavin Gunning is set to return from injury well ahead of schedule.
The Irishman has not played since injuring a knee in early February.
And just before the team left for their pre-season tour of Germany and Spain, the feeling was it could be as late as October before he was back.
Now, though, the 22-year-old is on the verge of seeing some action when United face Spanish minnows San Roque here in Spain on Friday.
And while manager Jackie McNamara has warned he’s still some way away from being ready to face top-class opposition, there’s no hiding his joy at the centre-half’s progress.
“He’s still a wee bit off but he’s been taking part in games and training for the last number of days and that’s good,” he said.
“He’s coming along well and could be involved in the game on Friday, though I’ve still to speak to the physio and get his thoughts.
“Even if he doesn’t play we’re happy with the way he’s come on out here.
“We were looking at it maybe being a couple of months into the season before he was ready to return for the first team.
“He spoke to the surgeon just before we left and he got the green light to try to step things up.
“So far it’s all been going well and he’s been working hard.
“He is still a good bit off match fitness because he was out a while but it is definitely good that he’s taking part. Hopefully, it will only be a wee while now before he’s up to speed.”
Also still on course for a run out in the third game of the trip is captain Sean Dillon.
He has now returned to training with the rest of the squad and has taken part in a practice match without any ill effect.
If both play against San Roque they will fit in perfectly to the team Jackie intends fielding.
“This game will be mostly for the ones who haven’t had as much game time as the rest. We’ve other friendlies at Dunfermline and down at Wigan when we get back and I’ll change the team for them.
“After Wigan, we’ll be ready to go and focus on the league opener at Partick.”