Willy Sagnol has given Bayern Munich and France a boost by making his return to training on Tuesday.
The full-back suffered a serious knee injury back in April and has been sidelined since.
But after seven months of recuperation there now appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for the 30-year-old.
Bayern manager Ottmar Hitzfeld explained that he will not rush Sagnol's return.
"I cannot throw him in at the deep end," Hitzfeld told the club's official website.
"He needs a bit of match practice first to find his rhythm."
Hitzfeld also expressed his delight at being able to train with a complete first-team squad for the first time this season, following the return of Sagnol and fellow long-term injury victims Valerien Ismael and Daniel van Buyten.
"It's great to be spoilt for choice, but it's not going to be an easy task telling several players that they will be watching from the stands," he told FCB.tv.