John Terry and Ashley Cole returned to light outdoor training today as the duo continued their bid to recover from injury for Chelsea's trip to QPR on Saturday.
Terry and Cole have this week been in a race against time to shake off ankle knocks for the west London derby at Loftus Road.
The defenders were both forced to withdraw from the England squad for last night's 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Ukraine but have made enough progress to be able to step up their rehabilitation.
It remains unclear whether either will be risked for a Barclays Premier League fixture that will be overshadowed by talk of the first public showdown between Terry and Anton Ferdinand since the Chelsea captain was cleared in court of racially abusing the QPR defender.
Terry still faces a Football Association charge over the incident, one he has denied, and it has been suggested his personal hearing over the matter could be held on September 24.
The FA declined to comment on the timing of the hearing when contacted by Press Association Sport today.
Terry is reportedly as eager to play in Saturday's game as he was when Chelsea played at QPR in an FA Cup fourth-round tie in January. That game saw him aggravate a knee injury which kept him out for six weeks and required minor surgery.
If Terry, Cole and Ferdinand all start on Saturday, the Premier League have no plans to abandon the pre-match handshake, despite the possibility of Ferdinand snubbing one or even both of the Chelsea players.
The handshakes prior to January's cup tie and April's league game were both cancelled due to the legal proceedings which ended in July. Cole gave evidence in Terry's trial which helped exonerate his captain.