Peterborough United forward Lee Tomlin has a "slight chance" of making a surprise return against Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.
Initial fears the 22-year-old had suffered knee ligament damage and faced a lengthy lay-off have eased.
"Tomlin's got a chance for Sunday. His swelling's not too bad. There's no serious damage," boss Darren Ferguson told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
"We didn't think he'd have any chance and it could have been quite a while."
He added: "We need to keep him off his feet for a few days. But the fact the game is Monday means we have got a little bit longer to get him right."
Ferguson has also received positive news about midfielder Lee Frecklington, who has responded well to treatment on a groin problem.
The 26-year-old has trained this week and if he does not suffer a reaction, he will feature at Forest.
"If the manipulation from the specialist continues to improve the injury we hope he won't need an operation," the Posh boss continued.
"Tommy Rowe came through a similar thing last season. But you can never tell."