Martin O'Neill is unsure when Aston Villa striker Chris Sutton will be able to return to action.
Sutton is struggling with blurred vision and he has been out of action since the defeat to Manchester United in December.
The former Celtic and Blackburn man visited an eye specialist last week and he has been informed there is no sign of improvement to his blurred vision.
O'Neill believes there is no need for surgery for Sutton, but admits it could be a while before he is back playing.
"Chris saw the specialist and the eye hasn't improved," said O'Neill. "We were hoping there would be a significant improvement and that Chris might be given the all clear.
"He hasn't been given that but Chris is far from downbeat and has decided he is going to do some non-contact training to get his fitness levels up and then the eye will be reassessed again.
"While it's a bit of a setback, he is still pretty upbeat and, at the moment, undergoing surgery is not something we are contemplating. It is a self-heal thing.
"But, while we want to be optimistic at some stage, it is definitely a slow process.
"Chris can go about his daily life but said, if his other eye was like it, he would be in a spot of bother."
Meanwhile, O'Neill has revealed he has received no further approach from Birmingham about signing Liam Ridgewell.
Blues boss Steve Bruce tried to sign Ridgewell just before the close of the transfer window as he looked to fill the void left by Matthew Upson's departure to West Ham, but Villa rebuffed their overtures.
It has been suggested Bruce might renew his efforts to sign Ridgewell on loan, but O'Neill insists he had not heard from Birmingham for a while now.
"Steve made an initial inquiry about 10-11 days ago but no-one has contacted me again from Birmingham," added O'Neill.