Luton Town manager Mike Newell remains hopeful summer signing Sam Parkin will not miss the rest of the season.
The former Chelsea and Swindon Town hit-man has made just seven appearances for The Hatters following his £340,000 move from Ipswich Town back in late August.
The 25-year-old needed surgery last week to treat a long-standing ankle problem, with Parkin unaware of how long he will be on the sidelines.
Newell, however, is hopeful Parkin can return at some stage in the current Championship campaign.
"You never know how long it's going to be and we haven't had any indication so far," Newell told the Luton Herald & Post.
"He's had an operation and when you have surgery, there's a chance you could be out for a length of time.
"But the early indications are we're not going to miss him for the rest of the season.
"It's the same problem, on the same ankle, but it's not the same injury."
Meanwhile, Newell has sought to clarify his position after being heavily criticised for his comments about female officials.
The former Hartlepool United manager was 'severely reprimanded' by The Hatters for his comments about women in football and his criticism of chairman Bill Tomlins after last Saturday's defeat against Queens Park Rangers.
After publicly apologising to assistant referee Amy Rayner for making his comments last Saturday, the 41-year-old sought to make his position clear in his programme notes before Saturday's game against Derby County.
"It is critical that people understand my true values," Newell wrote. "I did not say there was no place for women in football.
"I never said women should not be allowed to play for or support football teams, and I never actually said women should not be able to officiate.
"I am open to criticism, and I will never shy away from it. I have heard the debates and the condemnation all week without responding.
"For those people who do not know me personally, and have labelled me prehistoric, a caveman and a bigot, can I ask you this?
"Is it sexist to have traditional values? Values such as holding a door open for a woman, helping a mother with a pushchair off a train or up an escalator, worrying what time my daughter will be home and whether she is escorted, buying flowers and paying for dinner.
"If all of these are sexist and prehistoric, then I am guilty of them all."