Vale have received a big boost with the news that five players are close to a first-team return. Craig James begins training this week, while Ian Armstrong, Steve Rowland, Micky Cummins and Dave Hibbert are included in a reserve match squad.
James has been struggling for three months with a knee injury and after being cleared to resume training, he could be back in action by February.
Armstrong, Rowland, Cummins and Hibbert are included in a strong Vale team that will face Chesterfield at Saltergate on Tuesday afternoon.
The Vale squad will also include Simon Robinson, Nathan Lowndes and Tommy Widdrington as Martin Foyle aims to give most of his squad a run-out.