Thomas Hitzlsperger is hoping he will be in a position to make his long-awaited debut in February.
The German midfielder joined West Ham from Lazio over the summer but has yet to make his competitive bow for the club.
A series of injuries have kept him on the sidelines, with a niggling thigh problem eventually requiring surgery.
The 28-year-old feels he is finally on the road to recovery, though, and is determined to return to action in the near future.
He accepts that he is still some way short of the fitness levels required to compete in the Premier League, but hopes it will not be too long before he is able to offer his support to the Hammers' survival bid.
"It's a tendon injury and I needed surgery," Hitzlsperger told WHUTV.
"I spoke to several doctors and they all said the same - I needed surgery and it would take me four months to get back to playing.
"It got done in the middle of October so I should be back in the middle of February.
"There's not a lot you can do after this kind of surgery. The doctors told me to rest for the first four weeks as I was on crutches and couldn't really do much. I started to do conditioning work and to run a week ago.
"Now, the healing process is going well and I'm quite optimistic I'll be able to play in February.
"Things could obviously happen in between but I'm just hoping I will continue making the same progress over the next two months and I'll be back in February."