Sunderland winger Ross Wallace is ahead of schedule in his return from cruciate knee ligament damage.
The 22-year-old former Celtic starlet has been sidelined since picking up the serious injury during training in January.
Wallace was originally told that his season was over, but the diminutive wideman believes he could be back in action at least for the reserves before the end of the month.
"I'm training, feeling good and looking forward to playing a game," he told the club's official website.
"We don't have a reserve game until the week after next and I hope to play in that one, if not before."
The Dundee-born midfielder scored two goals in 19 appearances before being struck down by injury.
Meanwhile, Black Cats boss Roy Keane has challenged his players to finish the job and secure their Premier League status after a recent resurgence has lifted them away from the drop zone.
The Wearsiders face struggling Fulham on Saturday knowing that three points would push them to the brink of safety.
"This season is one of the biggest in the club's history because Sunderland have been up and down far too much, the fans are fed up with it," admitted Keane.
"We have to make sure we stay in this league and then we can get stronger. I hope I'm the man who takes this club to the next level.
"There's still going to be twists and turns but in the last few weeks we have given ourselves a much better chance of staying in the Premier League."