Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill remains hopeful that striker John Carew will be back in action sooner rather than later.
The 29-year-old Norway international has been sidelined since late November by a back problem and while O'Neill has no return date in mind, he is confident that Carew is on the mend.
He said: "I am no soothsayer, but John will definitely be back although I couldn't tell you a specific date. That would be hard to say.
"But he has been making progress, He has been out on the training field doing some work.
"It would be great if he could get back, because he has been an important player for the past two years.
"He is feeling a lot better and will have another appointment with the specialist in about a week's time."