Darren Ambrose's leg injury has been revealed to be not as serious as initially feared and he could be back in three weeks.
The Crystal Palace medical staff feared the 26-year-old midfielder had broken his leg after suffering an injury earlier in the season.
However, it has now become clear after a trip to a specialist that he has suffered severe bruising.
The news has come as a relief to manager George Burley, who believes Ambrose could return before the end of the month.
He told the South London Press: "Darren has bruising around the bone but it's nothing structural, so he'll be out for another three weeks.
"He's been a big miss for us and we will continue to feel his absence keenly.
"It's a big blow to lose someone who did as well as Darren did last year, and any team would suffer from losing that goal threat.
"But thankfully there is no operation needed, which is a plus."