Michael Ballack and Stefan Kiessling have returned to light training with Bayer Leverkusen as they continue their respective injury comebacks.
Former Chelsea midfielder Ballack has been out for 10 weeks after fracturing a bone in his knee in only the third Bundesliga match of the season.
Germany international Kiessling has also been absent after tearing a leg ligament in September.
But both were back in training on Sunday and could soon return to the first-team fold if they avoid any setbacks.
"This is a nice feeling," Ballack, whose future as captain of Germany's national team has come under scrutiny during his injury-enforced absence, told Express.
Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller said: "Michael and his presence makes us even stronger."
The Bay Arena outfit currently sit third in the Bundesliga, but they are 10 points adrift of leaders Borussia Dortmund and the goals of Kiessling could bring a welcome boost after the approaching winter break.
"I was a little surprised to already have been able to return to the training field, but it was good to get a feel of the ball again," he told Bild.
Coach Jupp Heynckes said of Kiessling: "He looked good and he has done well in his rehab.
"However, it is clear that Stefan still needs to do a lot of work. He will train every day from now on, alternating between running and doing strength work."