Sunderland's combative midfielder Lee Cattermole is close to a return to action ahead of schedule after suffering knee ligament damage during Sunderland's recent victory over Liverpool.
The former Wigan man had been a crucial member of Steve Bruce's charges' impressive start to the season, until the injury put a temporary halt to his campaign.
But after the initial diagnosis suggested that the 21-year-old would be out for at least three months, Cattermole has battled through the rehabilitation process admirably and is due to return much quicker than expected.
Cattermole is already back in training and now has all eyes on a swift return to the Black Cats' first team, who have continued to upset some of the Premier League's big boys, despite the England U21 man's absence.
“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel at last,” he said.
“I’ve set myself a target but I don’t want to say what that is – I would rather keep it under wraps.
“I just have to listen to my knee and, if it’s painful, then I need to ease off a bit.
“If it’s feeling good then I’ll do everything I can and push it as far as possible."