Newcastle loanee Stephen Ireland is eyeing a return to full training by the end of next week.
The midfielder, who joined from Aston Villa on a deal until the end of season on transfer deadline day, has yet to feature for his new club due to a knee injury.
The 24-year-old revealed he had been expecting to return in early March but encouraging progress this week means his recovery is now ahead of schedule.
"We thought it would be a couple of weeks," Ireland told club website nufc.co.uk. "But I went running outside [on Thursday] at a decent level and decent pace and I reckon it could be by the end of next week hopefully.
"I've just got to do a few more sessions and then see how far I can push it. If it goes well then I could be back soon. I haven't got any specific game in mind.
"I've just got to take a day at a time really, because one day it could feel amazing and then the next day really bad. It's quite strange but I have to see how I feel on a day-to-day basis."