Alfie May is set to make an earlier than expected return for Doncaster Rovers are swift progress on his hernia problem.
The striker had been due to miss a minimum of eight weeks after being ruled out in mid-October.
An initial prognosis for the problem suggested he would need surgery but did not prove to be the case.
And he could be back in action by the end of the month after returning to the training ground this week.
“Alfie May is out on the grass,” boss Darren Ferguson told The Star. “They actually didn’t need to do an operation on him, just some manipulation stuff and injections.
“It probably would bring him forward.
“The procedure would be straight-line running this week, next week twisting and turning and then he’d do a week’s training with us.
“So you’re looking at three weeks which is a lot earlier than we thought.
May’s fellow striker Alex Kiwomya could also be back in action earlier than anticipated after making significant progress on his return.
The forward has yet to feature for Rovers after being diagnosed with the auto-immune disorder Guillem-Barre shortly after his summer switch from Chelsea.
But he will begin running work in earnest next week as he steps up his comeback.
Ferguson said: “Kiwomya is running next week on the grass. He’s come on quite considerably, I’d have to say.
“He’s doing a lot of strength work in the gym and he’ll be out on the grass next week.
“We have to be patient, there’s no way we’re going to rush this.
“But again you’d be quite hopeful that it’s going to be before we thought he’d be back.”