Real Madrid have been boosted by the news that Wesley Sneijder's injury is not as bad as initially feared.
The Holland international was stretchered off in Real's pre-season defeat to Arsenal on Sunday with damage to his left knee.
It had been feared Abou Diaby's clumsy challenge on the 24-year-old could see him miss the first half of the new season.
Feared the worst
Real coach Bernd Schuster said after witnessing the incident first hand: "It's really tough. He's in a lot of pain and we predict the worst."
However, the Liga champions have confirmed that Sneijder will only be out for three months, leaving the door open for him to feature in the latter stages of Real's UEFA Champions League group campaign.
An MRI in Madrid ascertained Sneijder did not tear ligaments, meaning he will be back much sooner than initially feared.
Sneijder is said to be "very happy" at the news that he is not facing a longer spell on the sidelines.