Manchester City hope to have injured striker Valeri Bojinov back in training in a matter of weeks.
The injury-plagued Bulgaria striker has been sidelined since rupturing an Achilles tendon in the warm-up before City's first Premier League game of the season back in August.
The 22-year-old missed most of last season - his first with the club following a £6million move from Fiorentina - with knee ligament damage.
"Boj is back on the training ground now and he's working hard on a one-on-one basis with our sports science department," assistant manager Mark Bowen told the club's official website.
"His fitness seems to be improving every day and I imagine, without having any exact dates, that it could be a matter of weeks rather than months before he is able to work with the rest of the players."
Meanwhile, Bowen doesn't expect fellow injured Bulgarian Martin Petrov to return from his own knee ligament injury picked up in October much before the end of the season.
He added: "Martin's situation is more serious. He has had his operation and is not even doing any work at the moment, he's waiting for the initial stages of his rehab to unfold.
"We've missed him - we've missed both of them - but with Martin we know what he can give to the side.
"Boj is a different kettle of fish. I don't think anybody has seen too much of him since he came here because he has been so unlucky with injuries. The sooner they are back, the better."