Blackburn manager Paul Ince has revealed that midfielder David Dunn could be back in action before New Year.
The 28-year-old is in his second spell at the Lancashire club after a brief period at Birmingham City and has re-established himself as a key figure in the Rovers squad.
Given Dunn's bad luck with injuries during his career his manager is understandably wary of rushing him back into action before he is ready.
The midfielder's latest set-back was made even more frustrating after he began the season in impressive fashion claiming Rovers' first goal of the campaign in their 3-2 win at Everton.
But just a few days later Dunn was forced off in Rovers' next league game against Hull City.
The Rovers vice-captain underwent an operation on his Achilles and has not featured since but Ince insists the recovery signs are good.
Ince told Blackburn's official website: "I don't want to put any pressure on Dunny.
"He's started running so we are getting close, but it could be another four or five weeks.
"We are optimistic. He is a key player for us and I think we saw that at the start of the season against Everton.
"He gives us something that no-one else has got and those players are worth their weight in gold, so hopefully he'll be back in four or five weeks."