Hull City boss Phil Brown has been boosted by the news that George Boateng is doing well in his recovery from a knee ligament injury.
The Dutch midfielder had to be carried off after picking up the problem during the Tigers' FA Cup replay against Newcastle on 14th January.
The initial diagnosis was that Boateng could be sidelined for up to three months and Brown admits he is still some way off a return.
The 33-year-old has been in Holland for treatment but is due back in Hull this week for assessment.
Brown said: "He is coming on very nicely. He has been across with the Dutch physios that he has been working with all his career.
"With a bit of luck we will assess over a week to 10 days whether he stays with us or needs to go back to Holland.
"He is four weeks into an eight-to-10-week injury so we would need to see a marked sign of progress."
Brown was also encouraged by the performance of Anthony Gardner against Sheffield United at the weekend as the defender made his comeback following a string of thigh injuries.
"The massive plus was Tony Gardner getting 90 minutes under his belt," Brown said.
"We always said if we could get him up to speed in January it would be like a new signing.
"We have now got good competition for places at centre-back, which we have not had since I have been at the club."