Patrick Kisnorbo is targeting an October return from an Achilles injury which has wrecked his World Cup dream for Australia.
The Leeds United defender ruptured his Achilles tendon in last month's home defeat by Millwall and is now on the road to recovery.
He has been forced to give up hope of representing his country at the World Cup finals in South Africa and admits the injury is his 'worst nightmare'.
"I'd like to be running by July and the medics have said it could probably be a couple of months into the season before I'm back playing, which would be around October," said Kisnorbo, who has made 35 appearances since joining Leeds from Leicester City last summer.
"I'd like to target September, but I don't want to jinx myself or tempt fate by hoping I'll be back and then not making it."
Kisnorbo added: "If I could come back tomorrow I would. It's my worst nightmare especially with the timing.
"It's the end of the season and it's the World Cup, and it is tough watching."