Hull City star Nick Barmby faces six weeks on the sidelines after undergoing ankle surgery.
Barmby picked up the injury during the Tigers' 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers earlier this month.
The former England international has missed Hull's last two matches amid fears he could be sidelined until the end of the season.
However, the injury is not as serious as first feared and Barmby should be back in action by March.
Hull chairman Adam Pearson admitted the injury news was a major boost for the club and player.
"It is as good as we could have hoped for," Pearson told the Yorkshire Post.
"He should be out for six weeks, though knowing Nick as I do I would not be surprised to see him trying to get back even sooner."