Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill insists he will not rush Curtis Davies' return from his Achilles injury.
O'Neill is not expecting Davies to be back in action for another six months - even though the defender has targeted August for his comeback from a ruptured Achilles.
Davies suffered the setback against Arsenal in early March and last week revealed his hopes of being available shortly after the start of next season.
But O'Neill is aware of the need to adopt a cautious approach with an injury which used to be viewed as career-threatening.
"Yes, Curtis is doing really well. He has a really positive outlook and if anyone can come back quicker than planned, it is Curtis," O'Neill told the Birmingham Mail.
"But for all that, I don't expect to see him back until October or November time.
"It is one of those injuries where, if you start trying to come back too early, the sheath in the Achilles can go.
"However, even if Curtis is a month ahead in his rehabilitation programme our club doctor (Roddy McDonald) has said that we have to be very careful - and we will be."