Robbie Neilson has his sights set on a return for Hearts before Christmas as he continues his comeback from ankle surgery.
The defender, who has been out of action for six months, began jogging again this week and is hoping to be able to return to full training in a fortnight.
The 28-year-old is set to visit a consultant but is already thinking further ahead to his first-team return.
"I'd like to be back well before Christmas," he told Hearts.TV.
"Hopefully I'll get the all-clear in 10 days' time and I can get back into full training.
"I haven't played for a while so I need to get a few reserve games before I hopefully start pushing for a first-team game."
Neilson has yet to feature under new manager Csaba Laszlo, making him feel slightly removed from the rest of his team-mates.
"Obviously, when a new manager comes in, it makes it more difficult because he gets his team together and you don't feel as if you're part of the team," he said.
"But that's part and parcel of football and you have to make sure you work hard and get yourself back to 100 per cent fit and hopefully get in his plans at some point."
Neilson - Hearts longest-serving player - will also be frustrated at missing out on Hearts' next game against Edinburgh rivals Hibernian a week on Sunday.
"It's going to be difficult for me to go and watch it," said Neilson.
"It's one of those games everyone wants to be involved in. It's probably the highlight of the season for us so far."