England international David Beckham hopes to return to action with Los Angeles Galaxy next weekend.
The 35-year-old is hoping to play earlier than expected after recovering from the Achilles tendon injury he sustained while playing for AC Milan in March.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was forced to miss the World Cup finals in South Africa but, after taking part in a tough rehabilitation programme, hopes to feature in next Saturday's game against Columbus Crew.
He told lagalaxy.com: "The doctors' original (return) date was October 1, but I always kind of said I want to be ready before then.
"I'll keep my fingers crossed and hopefully will play in part of the game here against Columbus. I'll be on the bench and hopefully I'll get on the field for 15-20 minutes. That's what I'm looking at.
"When you first have an injury like this and realise how serious an injury it is, you worry that you're not going to get back to playing top-flight soccer. But that probably was in my head for only about ten seconds."