Alan Pardew is hoping Newcastle United utility player Ryan Taylor could return earlier than anticipated after suffering a cruciate ligament injury.
Taylor picked up the knee injury during the Magpies' win over Atromitos in the Europa League on Thursday and has been ruled out for 'several months' by the club.
However, Pardew does not believe the injury is as serious as most cruciate problems and is optimistic Taylor could be back ahead of schedule.
"He has done a cruciate, but the good news of that particular injury is that usually when you do it, you do some ligaments or you do a cartilage and it really is problematic," said the Newcastle boss.
"But Ryan looks quite straightforward. There's not a lot of swelling, the cruciate has detached, so it's purely a case of putting it back and I think he will come back a little bit quicker than most cruciate injuries."
Taylor is one of three Newcastle full-backs to have picked up injuries during the last few days with James Perch and Danny Simpson also on the sidelines, with the latter hurting his hamstring in Sunday's 1-1 draw against Aston Villa.
Indeed, midfielder Vurnon Anita had to play the final 52 minutes of the game at the back as the club's decision not to recruit another defender during the transfer window came back to haunt them.
Pardew said: "I had no chance, really. We lose Ryan one day before and your opportunity is very, very slim to get a player good enough for us.
"We have got great replacements, although we couldn't have foreseen that Danny was going to get injured today.
"But Anita went back in there and actually probably saved us a point with two great headers on the far post, and his quality going forward helped us.
"I don't think we have got a massive problem there."