Tottenham have provided an update on the varying status of their current absentees, with a return to training for four key players and a welcome step in recovery for one.

The club have been hamstrung with injuries throughout the festive period, both long and short term, but fans have finally been handed some positive news, with the return of Mousa Dembele, Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela to the training pitch.

Eric Dier has also made his return to the outdoors, by beginning his "on-field reconditioning". The club boasted the return of these stars on their official twitter account, as well as offering an update on the progression of Victor Wanyama in his recuperation from a knee injury sustained in November.

Speaking on Dembele and Vertonghen, who have been hampered by issues to their ankle and thigh respectively, Spurs confirmed on Thursday that the duo had "returned to training with the squad today and remain unavailable".

As for Argentine winger Lamela, who has not played for the Lilywhites since the 6-2 drubbing of Everton at Goodison Park, it was explained that he "returned to training with the squad yesterday following a calf injury but is unavailable for tomorrow’s match due to illness."

Despite this trio's continued absence, these announcements have handed some hope to fans that they could be available for the EFL Cup semi-final 1st leg against Chelsea on January 8. 

As for the more serious concerns hobbling Dier and Wanyama, there's more postive news. While the Englishman, who's been battling with appendicitis since the start of December, returned to the field for his reconditioning, the Kenyan continued his "outdoor rehabilitation".

Mauricio Pochettino's side are in action on Friday night in an FA Cup third round tie with Tranmere Rovers, before hosting Chelsea and Manchester United in quick succession in the cup and Premier League.