Injured Crystal Palace utility man Jeffrey Schlupp is in line to make an earlier than expected comeback to action, club boss Roy Hodgson has said.
The Ghana international has been in the treatment room since hurting his ankle during a Premier League clash with Huddersfield Town last month.
According to Hodgson, fears that the 25-year-old could be out for two months are becoming thinner by the day.
"Schlupp won’t be out for too much longer," said, the gaffer.
"He is closer than he should be after the nasty injury he picked up at Huddersfield Town.
"There were thoughts that it might take as long as eight weeks to recover but it’s now only four to five [weeks] since we played that game and he is already showing signs of being back on the field with us soon, but I’m in the hands of the medical people.
"For the first time, we might have a squad that gives me options to change people, bring others on in later stages of the game or change the formation in games if needed so I’m looking forward to that."
The recent setback was a massive blow for Schlupp, who only returned from injury the week before, after almost two months on the sidelines.
The Black Star had been a key feature of Hodgson's set-up since the former England manager replaced Frank de Boer in September.
The German-born, who joined The Eagles from Leicester City in January last year, has made 22 Premier League appearances, involving 21 starts, so far this season.