Long-term injury absentee Aaron Downes hopes to be available for selection when Chesterfield begin their League One campaign next month.
The Australian centre-back missed the whole of the Spireites title-winning season and has not played since suffering a second cruciate knee ligament injury in February 2010.
That setback came in just his seventh match back after a similar injury sustained in April the previous year.
Downes is relishing the prospect of playing when Chesterfield face Tranmere after he signed to extend a one-year contract.
"I've had two operations since my injury at Port Vale and my pre-season build-up has being going very well so far," he told the Derbyshire Times.
"I have been working hard with fitness coach Shane Nicholson and physio Jamie Hewitt. I am hoping it will be like a new centre half coming into the club."