Manchester United have received a welcome boost with the news that Darren Fletcher has returned to first-team training.
Fletcher, 29, has made just 13 appearances since being diagnosed with a chronic bowel condition in December 2011, with his most recent outing coming on Boxing Day 2012.
The Scotland captain hasn't played since then, but was somewhat surprisingly included in David Moyes' 25-man Premier League squad, despite his lengthy absence.
But now Fletcher has taken a massive step towards making a first-team return, having resumed training at United's Carrington training base - which Fletcher had banned himself from attending until he felt ready to push for a starting berth.
Speaking to reporters ahead of Manchester United's Champions League opener against Bayer Leverkusen, Moyes said: "Darren is a long way away from being ready and we’ll use the doctors' and physios' advice.
"But the big thing is he's back in and it's great to have him around. It looks as if he's on the road to recovery."
While it could be some time before the Old Trafford faithful see Fletcher pulling on a Manchester United shirt again, the latest progress in his rehabilitation is a welcome boost to the club's fans.