Alan Smith should be back in action for Manchester United in September, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Manchester United utility man suffered a horrific double break of his left leg during The Red Devils' FA Cup defeat to Liverpool in February.
It had been first feared that Smith could see his career ended because of the injury, but his recovery has been going well and the £6 million signing has now abandoned his crutches.
Although Smith is unlikely to figure too heavily in pre-season, Ferguson sees early in September as a realistic comeback date.
"Alan may be a bit late for the start of the season but I would think he will be back towards the beginning of September," Ferguson told Manchester United Radio.
"He still has a bit of a limp but he was out on the training ground last week walking around and went for a little jog."
Ferguson has praised the former Leeds United star for his mental attitude towards his recuperation and is expecting him to make a full recovery.
"He has an amazing philosophy and approach to his recovery," he continued.
"It doesn't bother him at all. There is no mental block. He will be back all right."