Sir Alex Ferguson expects Mikael Silvestre to return to action for Manchester United in March.
Silvestre suffered a cruciate ligament injury against Everton earlier this month and was initially tipped to be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
But United boss Ferguson is upbeat about the prospects of the French defender figuring for the club again in the current campaign.
"I'm sure Mikael will be back in March," Ferguson told Manchester United Radio.
"We had him operated on in France last week and it all went well.
"It was pleasing to see there was no further damage other than the cruciate ligament. That's a big bonus because sometimes there can be cartilage problems that also come along."
Meanwhile, Ferguson confirmed captain Gary Neville is finally ready to resume full training, having not played for the club since March.
Ferguson added: "Gary will be training with us this week for the first time. It's pleasing news because it's been a long time for the lad.
"He's been unlucky and just had one injury on top of another. It's just an accumulation of small injuries that has set him back.
"Hopefully he's now on the mend and we're looking forward to having him back."