Sunderland have welcomed the results of scans on Wes Brown's injured knee, with the defender set to be sidelined for weeks rather than months.
It was feared that the 32-year-old had picked up a serious knock during a pre-season game against Groningen and was facing up to a lengthy spell on the treatment table.
It has, however, been revealed that the damage suffered is not as bad as first feared.
That news has come as a welcome relief to Martin O'Neill, with the Black Cats boss confirming that Brown will not require surgery.
"We've had really decent news on Wes," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"They've done two sets of scans and tests and X-rays on Wes and there doesn't seem to be anything broken, which was a real worry for us at the time.
"And I know that he's feeling better both physically and psychologically and we now know that he will be out for a lot less time than we first feared when it happened."
O'Neill added: "The word was drifting around the dressing room when it happened that it could be a broken bone, but we weren't really sure.
"It would have been terrible news, for us and him, if it had been the case because he can be such an important player when he's fully fit and in form.
"But now that the results show no serious damage, he can start focusing on gently recuperating and looking to step back into things in the weeks ahead."