The 67-year-old actor, who plays Dot's husband Jim Branning in the soap, was admitted to hospital in June and was warned that he may never be able to work again.
Bardon was wheelchair-bound and suffered poor speech but he has now made progress by managing to walk a few paces.
A family friend of the star told the Mirror: "It was the first time he has managed to do anything under his own power. We just hope and pray it is the beginning of the recovery to full health, but it will be a long haul."
Since his stroke, fans of the programme have written in to show their support for him. A BBC insider said: "The EastEnders audience want to see John back by Dot Cotton's side as soon as possible."