The Manchester City midfielder was back at the club's training campus late last week and was seen doing weighted squats and seated leg presses in the gym - minus the support he has been wearing for the past month.
Pep Guardiola was told he would be without the 27-year-old for the best part of three months when he damaged lateral ligaments in training back in August.
However, the latest update has some suggesting De Bruyne could even be back for the home derby clash against bitter rivals Manchester United on November 11.
City are refusing to put a timeline on it but there is a clear view the player's knee is now at the stage where it can support his weight without any fear of a relapse.
De Bruyne topped the charts with 16 assists last season and will undoubtedly be pivotal again if the Citizens are to become the first team since 2009 to retain the Premier League trophy.
Meanwhile, defender Eliaquim Mangala, is said to be 'very close' to re-joining full training after six months on the sidelines with his own knee injury.