James Anderson showed little discomfort from his sore side during an hour-long spell of bowling in the Melbourne nets today.
England's pace spearhead hurt himself during their third-Test defeat against Australia at Perth, and has not bowled since last Saturday.
During the tourists' first practice session in the five days which have followed their setback at the WACA, much of the attention was on Anderson's fitness.
England have maintained throughout the week that the fast bowler's injury is only minor and highly unlikely to rule him out of the fourth Test, which starts on Boxing Day.
Even so, it was clear Anderson needed to come through today's work-out and be able to take part properly in a lighter training session tomorrow morning - before the team's Christmas Day lunch - to allay any residual fears about his readiness for action again.
His team-mate Jonathan Trott is certainly expecting him to take part.
"As far as I know he's looking really good," he said.
"I don't know why he wouldn't play."
Trott, one of three frontline batsmen out cheaply to Mitchell Johnson
in the left-armer's telling spell of inswing in England's first-innings collapse in Perth, believes there will be much benefit from the rest between Tests.
England's inactivity - Australia have practised at the MCG for the past two days - has been noted, especially coming after the wide-margin defeat which allowed the hosts to level the Ashes at 1-1 with two to
But Trott said: "It's a long tour, and it's important to be fresh.
"It's not as if the guys haven't been in the gym, working really hard and keeping their fitness levels up."
The England team's wives, girlfriends and close families joined them before the third Test and will remain for Christmas and the new year.
Trott - who will be spending his first Christmas with his daughter Lily, born just two months ago - believes short periods of time spent away from cricket can make you a better player when you get back in the middle.
"Sometimes, to take a step back from the game and look from the outside in is good for a few days," he said.
"Otherwise you can find yourself on a treadmill - going to nets, and hitting balls for the sake of hitting balls.
"You've got to find the right balance between working hard and switching off. I think we have it pretty spot-on."