Fernando Torres handed Spain a lift on the eve of their departure for a World Cup training camp in Austria by working with the rest of the squad for the first time since knee surgery.
The Liverpool striker went under the knife on April 18 to repair torn cartilage in his right knee and appears well on target to return inside the six-week rehabilitation period forecast by his doctors.
The 26-year-old joined up with the rest of Vicente del Bosque's 23-man squad in a light training session on Thursday that featured a half-hour practice match.
The Spanish federation (RFEF) revealed Torres' workload would increase over the coming days, although time is on his side with nearly three weeks to go before Spain's opening World Cup Group H match against Switzerland on June 16.
Torres' return has been welcomed by his team-mates, with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique saying: "It's great to have Fernando training with us.
"This is an important player for us and hopefully he can be ready for the first World Cup match."
Valencia winger Juan Mata added: "He is eager to start training and says he will be fit for the opener. This is good news."
Spain's World Cup preparations step up a gear with a warm-up match against Saudi Arabia in Innsbruck on Saturday before facing South Korea on June 3 and Poland five days later.
The European champions also face Honduras and Chile in the group stage in South Africa.