Fulham have pencilled striker Andy Johnson in for a return to first-team action in late September.
Cottagers manager Mark Hughes revealed the Fulham front man is recovering quicker than expected from a serious knee injury and could be involved in the Premier League as early as next month.
Johnson made just 13 appearances last term and his last outing was back in January before requiring surgery on the problem in February.
The 29-year-old had been hoping to be fit for Fulham's curtain raiser against Bolton on Saturday, but saw those plans scuppered after returning to the United States last month for further treatment following a setback during pre-season training.
But Hughes reckons the former England international could be back playing sooner rather later and will be in the shape of his life when he makes his long-awaited comeback.
"It looks very positive and he's looking to get back as soon as he can," said the Cottagers boss in The Daily Telegraph.
"He's done a lot of physical work while he's been out and the key to it is when he does come back he'll be the strongest he's ever been in his career. We're probably looking at September or October."