Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has returned to full training at Carrington following a knee ligament injury.
The Serbia international has been sidelined since December after suffering the serious knee injury during the UEFA Champions League defeat by Basel.
However, he is stepping up his bid for a return to full fitness and was joined in training by Jonny Evans and Phil Jones, as the trio look to be available for selection as soon as possible.
With United having already lost Chris Smalling for 10 weeks, manager Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to take a cautious approach to Evans and Vidic during their rehabilitation.
"It's not 100 per cent that Jonny Evans and Vida will start the season," Ferguson said at a press conference in Shanghai.
"Jonny will start running today. Vida and Phil Jones started full training today, which is very positive. If I can keep Rio fit, then Vidic and Jones should give us ample cover."
Meanwhile, the Ferguson remains uncertain on the time-scale regarding midfielder Darren Fletcher's possible return to action as he tries to manage a chronic bowel condition.
Ferguson added: "Darren Fletcher has a medical situation that he's trying hard to keep under control.
"We don't expect him back immediately but, hopefully, he does come back at some point."