Oldham Athletic have been given a boost with captain Dean Furman set to return to training on Monday.
The South African has been sidelined for the best part of two months after tearing cartilage in his left knee during the second game of the season against Carlisle.
The 23-year-old is now ready to resume training and has already pencilled in a comeback date, but has refused to announce it publicly.
"I'm hoping to get back into training on Monday, so it is going really well and I'm ahead of schedule at the moment," Furman told skysports.com.
"Hopefully, I can start training hard again and not get too bad a reaction from it, so that I can get back playing soon.
"It has been a tough time on the sidelines, as is any period of time away from the daily dose of football.
"It was very frustrating to have worked so hard in pre-season and then break down a couple of games into the season, but that's part and parcel of football and there is always someone worse off than me.
"I've worked hard with the physio, who has been great with me, and hopefully I'll come back better and stronger.
"We are just taking it as it comes because one of the things with the knee is that it can feel good one minute and then react a completely different way the next.
"I've discussed a certain game to return with the medical and management staff at the club, so that is in the back of my mind at the moment and hopefully it is in the not too distant future.
"Every morning I go in and discuss with the physio what we can do and how far we can test the knee again.
"Once I'm back in full training for a few days and get a reserve outing in the next few weeks then we can really see how the knee reacts to the more strenuous training and matches.
"That will tell me how far away I am from playing in a competitive league game again."