Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has hinted that new signing Alberto Aquilani is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation from surgery, but cannot put a date on a possible return.
The Italy international was bought from Roma in the summer as a £20million replacement for Xabi Alonso, who joined Real Madrid.
But Aquilani is recovering from an ankle operation and it was announced when he joined the Reds that it could be eight weeks before he was ready for action.
Benitez, though, is pleased with the progress of the 25-year-old, who has a reputation for being susceptible to injury, as he has already started working in the gym.
Clever"Alberto is improving," the Reds boss told the club's official website. "We were talking before about six to eight weeks and after a few weeks his ankle is much better but he will need time.
"He's in the swimming pool and in the gym and working with the physios but he's not jogging yet.
"We cannot put a date on things and it's important to just see how he progresses.
"We are checking on him regularly and he had a scan in the past week which showed he is much better.
"It's just a case of keeping an eye on him every day. When he does start to play everyone will see what a clever player he is."