Stuart Holden hopes to be back in action for Bolton by early October but is refusing to put a date on his comeback.
The USA international has been on side the sidelines since March after damaging knee ligaments in a challenge with Manchester United's Jonny Evans.
The 25-year-old is eager to return to action as soon as possible, although he accepts that he cannot rush the natural recovery process.
Holden is wary about setting a firm date for his return, but he does have outside hopes of being available for manager Owen Coyle by late September.
"There have been different phases of rehab. I was on crutches, then I was limited in my walking and now I'm starting to do a little bit more work," he told the club's official website.
"It is like someone is dangling the carrot in front of you and the obvious end goal is getting out on the pitch.
"I can't wait for that moment, but I'm pleased with my progress and I'm taking it one step at a time.
"If it was up to me, I'd be back out there with the lads now, but my body is the one telling me when I can and when I can't.
"I'm doing everything I can to make sure I can speed that process up. Some of it is just the healing and letting nature take it's course.
"I'm hoping to be back maybe at the end of September or early October, but I don't want to put a date on it.
"If I'm not ready, I'm not ready, but if I am ready before that, then I'll be out there, contributing and hopefully helping the team win."