Razak Boukari is facing a crucial couple of weeks as he aims to step up training in the aim of returning to full fitness.
The pacey winger has been sidelined with a troublesome calf injury since the game with Sheffield Wednesday back in September, which has prompted not only months of treatment at Compton but also visits to specialists in France.
He is now back doing parts of training sessions with the first team squad, but having suffered set backs at this stage previously the test will come when he bids to return to more competitive work.
“Razak's back in training, he joined in yesterday doing half of the session,” said boss Dean Saunders.
“Razak is a couple of weeks away from being anywhere near.
“He's joining in, but it's the step-up that's done him in the past, with fatigue.
“He's got a separation in his calf, and instead of knitting together there's just scar tissue holding it.
”So if it happens again he'll need an op, but we won't find out until we push it.
“Looking at him, if you went out there yesterday and watched him, you'd think he could play now.
“But I'm going on what the medical people tell me.
“We've got to monitor it now, but fingers crossed he's alright.
“He's just been shooting and joining in with the warm-up - no-one's tried to tackle him yet.
“He probably needs a kind of a pre-season, which he's started now, so fingers crossed.”
Elsewhere long-term injury absentees George Elokobi and Wayne Hennessey continue to make progress, with Elokobi still in with a chance of returning ahead of schedule this season and Hennessey still hopeful of being back for pre-season.
“George is probably three or four weeks away,” added Saunders.
“He's way ahead of schedule so I think it'll be three or four weeks before we consider him.
“Once he steps into training, we'll see where he is, but he dislocated and broke his ankle so he has to have enough time to heal - that's why they gave him the nine months.
“So he's ahead of schedule but we've got to be careful - he seems alright but he'll probably have to have a scan as he gets nearer to make sure everything's healed properly.
“Wayne will be next season.
“He's just started running and he's catching the ball, but when you do a cruciate normally it's six months. If you do it in five - it's a result.
“It's estimated that he'll hopefully be alright for pre-season and I’m expecting him ready and back for that.”