Mark Lillis believes injured trio James Vaughan, Lee Peltier and Danny Ward are all firmly on the comeback trail.
All three came through a training session at PPG Canalside today as the stand-in manager began the countdown to the home clash with Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
Last season’s 12-goal top scorer Vaughan has been out since pre-season with a calf injury.
Captain Peltier has missed two matches through a groin problem.
And Ward was absent from Tuesday’s morale-boosting 2-1 win at Reading with a back issue.
“The three of them all had a carefully-monitored work-out and came through fine,” reported Lillis.
“It’s too soon to say whether they will be available against Charlton, but we will assess them again and give them as long as we practically can for the match.
“Just having them back on the training ground and seeing them smiling again is a plus.
“And we also have the Nottingham Forest Capital One Cup-tie coming up on Tuesday, so that provides another target for them.”
Unbeaten Charlton, who are fourth in the Championship, will be venturing out of London for the first time this season, having drawn at Brentford before beating Colchester United (Capital One Cup), Wigan Athletic and Derby County at The Valley.
For Town, up to 20th after their Madejski Stadium success, it’s a return home after three consecutive away games, and 950 miles of travelling.
“We’re looking forward to getting back in front of our own fans and putting in another big shift,” said Lillis.