Hopes that long-term Tottenham Hotspur absentees Danny Rose and Erik Lamela will soon be in a position to make their respective first-team returns were boosted on Wednesday (11 October) after the injury-stricken duo both took part in a training session at Spurs' Enfield base.
First-choice left-back Rose damaged medial ligaments in his left knee during the first half of a goalless Premier League draw against former club Sunderland in January and later underwent exploratory surgery that ruled him out for the remainder of the 2016-17 campaign and beyond.
It has been even longer since manager Mauricio Pochettino was last able to call upon the services of fellow Argentine Lamela, who has not played a single minute of football since appearing as a substitute in Tottenham's 2-1 EFL Cup fourth round defeat to Liverpool in October 2016.
After a change of scenery in Rome, the 25-year-old travelled to Spain in March for an operation on a persistent left hip problem that never fully healed and was subsequently lost for the rest of the season.
Six weeks later he went under the knife once again for a "planned procedure" on his right hip, with Spurs insisting that latter surgery would not affect his overall recovery time. The initial blow sparked speculation that Lamela may have played his last game for the Lilywhites.
Both players now appear to be stepping up their recoveries, with Tottenham's official Twitter account posting pictures of them training alongside the caption: "Danny Rose and Erik Lamela train with the rest of the team at Hotspur Way today as they continue to progress with their rehabilitation."
Despite the pair evidently making good progress, at present there are no suggestions that either will return to action ahead of schedule.
Rose, who apologised during the summer after his "ill-judged" comments on Tottenham's transfer policy, wage structure and his own future, could presumably be in a position to play again later this month, although Pochettino has been reluctant to attach a specific time frame to his recovery.
Lamela's timeline remains particularly vague, with November initially targeted as the month for his potential comeback. However, Pochettino's decision to leave the versatile attacker out of his squad for the group stages of the Champions League prompted talk that it might be 2018 before he is properly back in contention.
Tottenham host struggling Bournemouth at Wembley Stadium on Saturday in the first Premier League fixture following the international break and it remains to be seen if Mousa Dembele will be fit for selection following an ankle injury. Victor Wanyama is believed to be targeting the visit of Liverpool on 22 October to make his return from a knee issue, although there has been no update on either midfielder so far this week.
Spurs also take on Real Madrid, West Ham United and Manchester United this month before a second meeting with the reigning European champions at the beginning of November is followed by fixtures against north London rivals Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.