CLUB captain Rob Edwards is back in full training and eager to fire Town's League I campaign.
The 34-year-old has missed 11 matches with a hamstring injury but made a successful return to the senior squad session yesterday and could now be in contention for Saturday's trip to Colchester United.
Another left wing-back option, Tony Carss, was also back in training at Storthes Hall today after missing Saturday's 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Stockport County with a back injury.
Strikers Andy Booth and John McAliskey are being given at least another 24 hours to rest thigh and groin injuries respectively as Town focus on taking three points from Layer Road.
"Robbie Edwards gave it a real go in training yesterday and came through okay," said coach Terry Yorath, who revealed goalkeeper Ian Gray has been given the week off following his hernia operation.
"Rob can still feel his injury a little bit, but he's prepared to work through that and it's good to have him back on the training ground with a view to playing matches again.
"Macca and Boothy will possibly be training again from the middle of the week while Carssy will be put through his paces today and we'll see how he goes."
Edwards, who hasn't played since the 2-0 home defeat to Barnsley two months ago, wasn't risked in last night's Reserves match at York, where Town lost 2-1.
Lee Fowler, the only substitute used in the Cup defeat, played alongside goalscorer John McCombe, Nat Brown and Tom Clarke, while David Walls made his return from injury.
Cutting out defensive mistakes was again the theme of Town's training today and Yorath explained: "I thought for quite long periods we played some good football on Saturday, but I felt we had too many people joining in at certain times and it left us bare at the back.
"You want people to attack and to be enterprising, but it was more like we were the home team and Stockport were on the counter attack which, to be fair, they did quite well."