Gary O'Neil feels he could return to action for Middlesbrough next week.
The midfielder only had surgery on his hernia less than two weeks ago, but he is now hoping to play against Ipswich on 12th September.
The news would be a huge boost to Boro boss Gareth Southgate, who saw his team lose last time out to Bristol City while O'Neil was sidelined.
"Hopefully I'll be right for Ipswich, that's what we are going to try for. The plan was always for me to miss just the one league game if possible.
"Now it all depends on what pain I get, if any.
"I'm quite a bit ahead of schedule.
"I started doing some light jogging after only four days and it feels good. Hopefully the rest of my rehab will go just as smoothly."
O'Neil is looking to aid Boro's promotion push as soon as possible.
"Despite the result at Bristol City, we've made a good start and we want to keep that going, starting with the Ipswich match," he said.
"Naturally I just want to get back playing and helping the team as soon as I can."