Aberdeen have received a double defensive fitness boost with centre-backs Mikey Devlin and Tommie Hoban both returning from long-term injury.
The Dons are on a week-long break before jetting out to Dubai on Tuesday for a warm weather training camp.
Devlin, 25, plans to step up his training while on holiday to ensure he is ready to return to work out in the Middle East. He has been sidelined with a foot tendon injury sustained in training with the Scotland international squad ahead of the Uefa Nations tie with Albania in November.
He has missed 10 games.
Watford defender Hoban has reported for duty at Pittodrie and is nearing the end of his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery in August.
Hoban will jet out to Dubai, resuming his season-long loan with the Reds from the Premier League outfit in the second half of the season.
It is understood Hoban is confident of being fit for the Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against Stenhousemuir on Saturday January 19.
Hoban has been sidelined since sustaining a shoulder injury that required surgery in the 1-1 draw with Hibs at Easter Road on August 25.
He suffered the injury while scoring the opening goal.
The 24-year-old versatile defender started both legs of the Europa League second qualifying round clash with English top flight outfit Burnley.
In a further defensive boost for the Dons, centre-back Mark Reynolds is also on course to return to action in January.
Reynolds returned to full training towards the end of last month after more than five months out following surgery to cruciate damage sustained in a friendly against Cove Rangers in July.
Although the Reds are officially on a week-long break during the Premiership winter shut-down, Reynolds was in Pittodrie this week for extra gym work to ensure he is ready to make an impact out in Dubai.
The timing of Devlin’s injury was particularly cruel as the defender was set to earn a first senior cap for Scotland only to sustain the damage while training with Alex McLeish’s squad.
Devlin was forced to sit out the 1-0 Betfred Cup final loss to Celtic at Hampden last month.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes said: “It was the ultimate high of coming off the semi-final win (1-0 v Rangers in October) and the likelihood of Mikey getting his first cap for Scotland.
“However, he then missed out on the final by being injured and also missing out on other important games.
“It is the ups and downs of football. Mikey has been great in terms of his work towards getting fit.”
There had been hopes Devlin would return from injury at some point during the congested run that packed nine games into last month.
That was ruled out after the defender visited a specialist in London on December 17 to get further advice on the injury.
McInnes said: “There was a little pocket of fluid hanging about which was causing an issue on the tendon.
“We managed to deal with that.
“But unfortunately, dealing with that meant Mikey would miss the rest of the games in December.
“However, everyone was telling me he will be back for January and there will be no problems with that.”
Despite the return to action of three centre-backs from injury, McInnes still aims to bolster his defence during the January transfer window.
McInnes is in the market for a left-back to replace Max Lowe, who has returned to parent club Derby County following the end of his half-season loan deal.