Liverpool have received a welcome lift after Fernando Torres returned to training on Wednesday ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby.
The Spanish striker picked up a groin strain during the Reds' humiliating home defeat to Blackpool earlier this month, putting him out of action over the international break.
However, Liverpool's head of sports science and sports medicine Peter Brukner says the 26-year-old is making excellent progress and could feature in Roy Hodgson's line-up at Everton this weekend.
Brukner told Liverpoolfc.tv: "Fernando is doing pretty well. He had a slight tear in one of his adductor muscles very early on in the game against Blackpool that prevented him going away with Spain in the internationals.
"He has had intense treatment over the last 10 days and responded very well to that treatment. He's ready to resume training today and if we can build up his training and get through the next few days, then we are optimistic but not certain that he will be able to line up against Everton.
"It's still early days but so far so good. He has responded well to the treatment but we will just have to wait and see whether he is able to build up his training sufficiently.
"He'll join in the full training session on Thursday, then build up Friday and Saturday. If he gets through these sessions and he is able to stretch out fully and has no after effect from the sessions then he will be able to play.
"So we are optimistic he will be ready but it's still too early to say for sure."
Brukner revealed a decision will be made on Saturday over whether Torres can start at Goodison Park when he sits down with manager Hodgson.
He added: "The medical and fitness teams will make a joint decision based on the assessment of the player. I'll take that to the manager and discuss with him, and he always listens to what we say."
Left-back Paul Konchesky could also be available to make his derby debut after responding well to treatment on his hamstring injury.
"Paul is coming along well and will join in full training on Thursday for the first time," he added.
"He's done everything we have asked of him so far and he's done a lot of running and a lot of strength work on his hamstring.
"Again, it's a bit similar to Fernando that we are reasonably confident he will be available for Everton, but it just depends on his body responds to training."
Meanwhile, the news is not all good at Anfield after Dirk Kuyt picked up an ankle injury in Holland's 4-1 win over Sweden on Tuesday.
The Reds forward lasted just 28 minutes of the Euro 2012 qualifier and was taken to hospital in an ambulance with what looked like a serious injury.
While yet to receive a full diagnosis, Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk fears the forward could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines, admitting: "It does not look good."
Kuyt's injury adds to Hodgson's worries ahead of Sunday's clash, with Liverpool currently sitting third-bottom of the table after a dismal start to the season.