Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack believes he will be back in action in December following a seven month injury lay off.
The Germany captain has been sidelined since undergoing ankle surgery in April and was omitted from the Blues' initial Champions League squad eligible for the group stages named at the beginning of the campaign.
But the 31-year-old has now targeted a comeback next month as he bids to win a more prominent place in the Chelsea first team under new coach Avram Grant.
"I am making excellent progress," he told German media.
"I started training again last week and December is looking like a good time (to return).
"I am just going to see how it goes from week to week, but I won't set a date for when I would like to play again."
Ballack started 23 games in the Premier League last season following his free transfer move from Bayern Munich.