Ian Evatt is edging ever closer to a return to full fitness after playing in Tuesday afternoon's practice match at Sheffield Wednesday.
The experienced defender played for the whole game and assistant-manager Leam Richardson was pleased to see him come through it unscathed. "It was a good test for him to come through 90 minutes against a good Sheffield Wednesday side," he said. "Every day he's looking stronger and stronger, which is very pleasing."
Richardson stressed the importance of ensuring that Evatt does not suffer a setback as a result of being rushed back ahead of schedule. He said: "We don't want to lose Ian to any niggles.
"He's making good strides and he's desperate to play but you've sometimes got to take it out of the player's hands and make the right decision. We want him to be strong and hit the ground running, so we're always mindful of that."
While refusing to put a time-scale on Evatt's likely return, Richardson believes he will be pressing for inclusion soon. "We're very pleased with his progress so we can't see it being too long before he's available," he added.
Evatt, who was sold to QPR in the summer of 2005, rejoined the Spireites last month after being released by Blackpool and was named as the new captain.
The 31-year-old made his final appearance for Blackpool last November. He made 12 appearances last season before suffering a knee injury which forced him to miss the rest of the campaign.