Kean Bryan and Jake Wright are now competiting for places in Sheffield United's starting eleven, manager Chris Wilder has revealed, after recovering from the injuries which have forced them to miss the first 18 games of the Championship season.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday's visit to Brentford, Wilder explained the two centre-halves have been declared available for selection following a series of meetings with Bramall Lane's medical department.
"Kean and Jake are now back on the grass," he said. "They are out there working and they're pushing."
With United midway through a series of crucial games - they travel to Griffin Park on the back of derbies against Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham - learning Bryan and Wright can now both be considered will be a major boost for Wilder and his team.
Although the 51-year-old and his staff took steps to improve the depth of their squad before August's transfer deadline, the Christmas period is expected to prove a test of both its mental and physical strength, with United scheduled to face Ipswich Town, Derby County, Blackburn Rovers and Wigan Athletic within the space of 11 days.
Bryan, aged 22, has yet to make a senior appearance for United since arriving from Manchester City three months ago. The former England youth international was diagnosed with a hamstring problem soon after his transfer was completed which flared-up against following a period of illness.
Wright, a veteran of 2017's League One title winning campaign, featured 22 times last term. He suffered a serious facial injury during a pre-season friendly at Stocksbridge Park Steels before undergoing treatment for a back complaint.
Confirming goalkeeper Jake Eastwood will take no part in United's preparations for either the visit to London or this weekend's meeting with Leeds, Wilder said: "Jake has had a little op to clear up his knee. It's nothing serious and he'll only be out for a short time."