Preston North End boss Alex Neil has given an encouraging fitness update on Daniel Johnson's recovery from injury.
The midfielder was set to be ruled out for between four and six weeks with a thigh injury - before he saw a specialist a much longer absence was feared.
But Neil says Johnson is not too far off a return to training.
Speaking at Springfields on Thursday morning, Neil said: "DJ's injury is that he has basically a little bit of a rupture where some fibres have snapped down from the tendon.
"When that happens it is generally a long-term one.
"Two things might make it maybe not so long term - one, he was in the process of healing before we came across the injury and secondly which might sound stupid, it is his right leg.
"He rarely kicks the ball with his right foot which means the impact on his body is less significant.
"We are hoping he is not going to be far away."
North End are continuing to monitor the facial injury suffered by Tom Clarke.
The skipper broke his nose in a clash with former PNE striker Jordan Hugill against Middlesbrough.
He's since suffered serious swelling in the area of his top lip, maybe due to an infection.
Neil said: "At first it looked like an allergic reaction because his face was really swollen.
"I think he has contracted an infection of some kind which has caused his face to swell up.
"He was getting some secretions under his top lip where blood was leaking out.
"Tom wasn't in a good place at all but he is feeling a lot better now.
"Hopefully we can get him out on the pitch in the next day or so and have a look at him."