Carlisle United boss Graham Kavanagh has said Chris Chantler's recovery from an ankle injury is improving but has not put a timeframe on a return.
Chantler, 22, has been out of action since January's 1-0 win against Coventry after undergoing surgery.
He had made 44 appearances for the club following an initial loan move from Manchester City in November 2011.
"He's progressing very well," Kavanagh told BBC Radio Cumbria. "He's feeling a lot more comfortable in his ankle."
He added: "With each training session he gains in confidence - it's now about him getting a good whack on it and a strike of the ball in the first-team environment."
Ex-City midfielder Chantler made one appearance for his hometown club, against Juventus in the Europa League in December 2010.
Meanwhile, Kavanagh and his players have a free weekend after their League One game with Wolves this weekend was postponed due to their opponents' international call-ups.
The break gives the Cumbrians a chance to take stock after an unbeaten five-game run following Kavanagh's appointment as successor to Greg Abbott.
Three wins and two draws have lifted them to 13th in the table, and into the area quarter-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
"We've got a physical day on Friday, and then I'll give the players the weekend off, I think they have deserved it," the former Republic of Ireland midfielder said.
"They've worked extremely hard, long hours and putting everything into place so they deserve a couple of days.
"Next week we'll have our normal preparation, and definitely be ready for the Oldham game."