Wigan defender Antolin Alcaraz could make a surprise return to action when the Latics host Chelsea at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
The centre-back was forced out of his side's victory over West Brom last weekend, leaving the pitch in some discomfort after suffering a suspected fractured rib.
He was expected to be sidelined until the New Year but subsequent scans have suggested that the rib may not be broken.
The Paraguayan will have another scan later in the week when some of the swelling has gone down and has already resumed light training.
Manager Roberto Martinez still does not know the exact diagnosis but says that Alcaraz has a good chance of making a swift return.
"With the nature of the injury, it's been very difficult to get a definitive assessment," Martinez told the Wigan Evening Post.
"Having said that, the early scans we've had back are very positive, which is great news for everyone.
"It's probably a bit early to be going one way or the other with regards to the weekend, but the 48-hour scan is usually indicative of the type of injury you're dealing with. We'll know more in the next 24 hours or so, but Antolin himself feels very strong, very well and wants to play.
"We're just seeing how he settles back in to work and reacts to exercising, but he'll be scanned again once the swelling has gone down to check there's no structural damage.
"We really weren't too positive after the game on Saturday but, if I were a betting man, I would be inclined to suggest there's a 51 per cent chance he'll be fine rather than not."