Aberdeen today received a triple fitness boost with Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove and Niall McGinn all returning to full training.
The return of the attacking trio is a major positive for boss Derek McInnes as he steps up preparations for the season opener against Rangers on August 1.
January signing Kennedy underwent surgery last month on an ankle problem that had troubled him throughout the Covid-19 lockdown.
Prolific striker Cosgrove, who netted 23 goals last season, suffered a back spasm last week.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland international winger McGinn sustained a calf strain in training last week, but has recovered.
McInnes said: “Sam Cosgrove saw the back specialist and there was a wee bit of work he needed to go through.
“He did part training earlier this week before being back to full training today.
“Niall McGinn and Matty Kennedy will also be back to full training today. Having Niall, Matty and Sam back in full training is important for us because they are three key players in that forward line.”
McInnes expects January signing Dylan McGeouch to return to full training next week.
The former Sunderland midfielder picked up a calf strain in training last week at the club’s Cormack Park training facility.
McInnes said: “Dylan McGeouch will probably be another week.”
Striker Curtis Main is currently sidelined having undergone knee surgery last month, but McInnes is confident he will be ready for the start of the league season.
Full-back Shay Logan (calf) and midfielder Lewis Ferguson (thigh) picked up minor strains this week.
McInnes said: “These things we anticipated.
“There is an understanding that the players effectively hadn’t been striking balls or training as they would normally do for a long period of time.
“We have prepared ourselves for players to miss a few day here and there with little strains.
“We have to get through the work and keep putting the work into them.”
Aberdeen yesterday welcomed back to training the unnamed player who tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
Following that positive result, the player followed self isolation protocols, but subsequently tested negative twice.
He was tested again on Tuesday from within his car at Cormack Park, with a third negative test clearing him to return to training, albeit in isolation.
McInnes has complete confidence in the club’s testing protocol, with more than 700 tests being done on players, management and staff since returning to training on June 15. Aberdeen have been conducting twice-weekly Covid-19 tests on all players, management and ancillary staff at Cormack Park. The SFA/SPFL Joint Response Group last night confirmed the Scottish Government has approved a move to reduce testing to once-per-week from Monday.
McInnes said: “The testing regime has been very thorough.
“We’ve had good feedback from the testing company, who’ve been getting round a few companies and a few clubs. We take confidence from the fact that we’re doing things right.
“He reported on Tuesday, but didn’t get out of his car and got tested again.
“As we had hoped, he was able to come back into training from Wednesday onwards.
“He will be able to work on his own or with a member of staff for a period of five or six days, then rejoin the group again the following Tuesday. “
Aberdeen will fight on five fronts in the upcoming season as they will also kick off in the Europa League at the first qualifying round stage on August 27.
As well as the two domestic cups in 2020-21, the Reds will also complete last season’s Scottish Cup. The semi-final clash with Celtic, scheduled for April, was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
McInnes said: “We have an exciting start to the season.”