Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley may make his comeback from injury next month against Liverpool.
The 22-year-old has been out with the ankle injury he picked up in October's win at Everton.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: "I am hopeful in 10 days' time he will be training then we can kick on.
"When he plays depends how he does in training. His fitness levels should be fine, so he could cope right away. If he can, you are talking about a week."
The injury was originally not thought to be too severe and Cleverley was substituted as a precaution, however a scan revealed the full extent of the damage.
United host Liverpool on 11 February and Ferguson admitted the return of Cleverley for that game would be a huge lift for his side.
"It would be a great boost to us," said the Scot.
"The way that Tom started the season was absolutely phenomenal.
"I have not seen a young player have that impact at our club for a long time.
"He has been a loss because he has something different from everyone else."
Cleverley's early-season performances earned him a call-up to the England squads for the postponed August friendly against Holland and the Euro 2012 qualifiers with Bulgaria and Wales.
However, he injured his foot during a victory at Bolton in September and then on his Premier League reappearance at Goodison Park he sustained the ankle injury that has kept him sidelined for the last three months.