Craig Gordon believes he is capable of shaving a couple of months off his recovery from a knee problem.
The Sunderland keeper was forced to undergo an operation earlier this week, with it expected that surgery would keep him sidelined for up to six months.
The Scotland international is, however, confident that he can complete his rehabilitation quicker than that and be back in contention for the start of the 2011/12 campaign.
Gordon feels that four months' rest and fitness work should be all that is required to see him back to full health.
He told the club's official website: "Obviously I'm bitterly disappointed to be facing such a long time out, but hopefully the recovery time won't be at the top end of the scale which is being talked about.
"The surgeon is very optimistic and if the rehab goes well there is no reason why it can't be nearer four months.
"I'll work hard and make sure everything is 100 per cent before I come back.
"During the operation I had the two surfaces of the tendon shaved away which should release it and improve the movement in the knee."
Gordon had hoped to delay surgery until the summer, but soon realised that he had no option but to go under the knife.
He added: "I knew something had to be done. I couldn't carry on the way it was. I knew inside it was time to call it a day and have the op.
"I'm just focused on getting back and playing a bigger role next season."