Scotland defender Gary Caldwell will miss his team's opening Euro 2012 qualifying match through injury.
The Wigan stopper has undergone surgery on both hips over the summer and will miss the start of the new campaign.
It means the 28-year-old is likely to be absent from Craig Levin's squad that will take on Lithuania on 3 September.
But Caldwell is hopeful he will be fit enough to return for the clash against world champions Spain on 12 October at Hampden Park.
Caldwell said: "It is just a case of taking each day as it comes and making sure I am ready when I come back. I don't think I'll make the first couple - I'll be struggling - but hopefully the Spain and Czech Republic games.
"I'll be doing my very best to get in the Wigan team first and hopefully back in the Scotland team. The surgeon didn't want to give dates. He said he's had people back in 10 weeks to five months, so somewhere in amongst that.
"Hopefully it'll be nearer the 10 week side of things."
Caldwell moved south of the border to link-up with the Latics in January but played through till the end of the campaign in pain.
The problem left the former Hibernian defender on crutches in the close season and he admitted to enduring a frustrating time - but now Caldwell is looking forward to making a return to action.
"It was really wear and tear on both hips," explained Caldwell.
"It was something I had been playing with for a while and needed done so hopefully I can play next season pain free.
"It was a hard summer, probably the worst one of my life - on crutches constantly. But I got rid of the crutches yesterday and that is the hard part done now. Now it is up to me to make sure I am ready."
Scotland will begin their campaign hopeful they can progress to the tournament in Ukraine and Poland, where they will look to qualify for their first finals since the World Cup in 1998.
Craig Levein will be at the helm following the dismissal of George Burley and Caldwell is feeling optimistic having the former Dundee United manager in charge.
"It's great - a new manager, a new approach. Everyone has a clean slate," added Caldwell.
"The first game was really positive, beating the Czech Republic at home. That breeds confidence.
"Over the years, when we are confident and have a system that suits us, we have shown we can get some good results. We are going in with confidence we can qualify because it has been too long since Scotland played in a major finals."