Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge has set his sights on a return to action in the New Year.
Bridge is recovering from a knee ligament injury he sustained against former club Chelsea at the start of December.
Initial estimates were that the England star would be out of action for six
weeks, which made him doubtful for both legs of the eagerly-awaited Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester United.
However, Bridge is making good progress with the injury and is hopeful of being back in action sooner than expected.
"It is definitely a lot better," Bridge told the club's official website. "I am walking without a brace this week.
"I need to make sure I am strong first. But I will push it as hard as I can to
be back and hope to be back at the start of the New Year."