Aberdeen centre-back Mikey Devlin is on track to return to full training from a foot tendon injury within the next two weeks.
The 25-year-old defender has been sidelined since sustaining the injury while training with the Scotland international squad in mid-November.
Devlin has missed 11 games and is ruled out of a return to face former club Hamilton on Premiership action tonight.
Boss Derek McInnes said: “Mikey is increasing his workload and is probably going to start to interact more with the squad next week in terms of ball work.
“If he comes through that without any adverse reaction then we would probably be in a position the following week for him to get back into full training. But it is still too early to say that with any real confidence.”
Centre-back Mark Reynolds has returned to full fitness having been ruled out since undergoing surgery to knee cruciate damage in late July.
Reynolds suffered the injury on the artificial pitch at Cove Rangers’ Balmoral stadium in a pre-season friendly.
The defender’s comeback has been put on ice as he will not be risked on the artificial surface at Hamilton tonight.
McInnes said: “Mark Reynolds won’t play as the medical side of it feel it is just a bit early for him.
“That is not to say Mark will not play on astroturf again – I am pretty sure he will.
“However, we just feel that at this earlier stage Mark needs to get some solid game time under his belt before he exposes himself to astroturf.”
Winger Connor McLennan is ruled out for tonight’s clash although on-loan Watford centre-back Tommie Hoban is part of the squad. Hoban has been sidelined since shoulder surgery in August.
McInnes said: “McLennan is out as he has a tight hamstring.
“He was also feeling a bit run down on Friday before the cup game and felt the effects of that.
“It was disappointing as he would have started on Saturday.
“McLennan may be okay for Kilmarnock on Saturday but that is touch and go.
“Tommie Hoban is fine. We put some good work into him. Tommie is in the squad and getting closer, as is Mark.”
Aberdeen, fourth in the Premiership and just three points behind leaders Celtic, face a struggling Hamilton side without a win in the last seven matches.
Second-placed Rangers face Kilmarnock tonight and something has to give in that clash, which could open up the opportunity for the Reds to capitalise.
McInnes insists he is only focusing on Aberdeen’s match.
He said: “It is just important to get a win, regardless of what other clubs are doing.
“It will be a tough game.
“A lot always gets made about plastic pitches and I do think that makes it another part of the challenge for us.
“We go down there against a team who are fighting for their own survival and they always find ways to get enough points to stay in the league.
“I am a huge admirer of how Hamilton operate because they are probably the team with the least resources in the league.
“But as a club they always find ways to produce good players and to stay in the league.”