Hearts' Callum Paterson will be out for around two months after undergoing knee surgery, the club has confirmed.
The 19-year-old was carried off injured during his side's 3-1 Challenge Cup win over Annan Athletic and head coach Robbie Nielson feared he could be facing six months on the sidelines.
"The operation - a medial menisectomy - was a tidy-up job which went absolutely fine," Neilson told the club's website.
"We believe Callum will return to training in around a couple of months."
And Neilson added: "It's still an injury that will keep him on the sideline for the foreseeable, but because we could've been looking at six months out or longer, it's a huge relief that it isn't as bad as that.
"Callum will start his rehabilitation straight away and I'm sure he will come back stronger and better than ever."
Paterson, who can play in several positions but prefers right back, is considered one of the brightest talents in Scottish football.
He recently signed a new three-year contract with the Scottish Championship outfit.
The Tynecastle club also announced that winger Jamie Walker has also signed a three-year contract extension.