Doncaster Rovers midfielder Ali Crawford is set to make a significant step in his recovery from injury this week.
The 28-year-old summer signing suffered a medial knee ligament injury which has kept him out of action since the opening day of the season.
Boss Grant McCann refused initially to put a timeframe on the Scottish midfielder’s return but has revealed Crawford could be back available by the end of this month.
“I think Ali will be back out on the grass early this week,” McCann said.
“He’s coming along well.
“Obviously he’ll need a week, maybe two, with the fitness coaches as well.
“Possibly in the next three weeks we could see Ali return.”
McCann says he will be keen to see Crawford in action for the club’s U23s before he makes his return to senior football.
“They need to play some minutes,” he said.
“Ali hasn’t been out that long really, if you think about it.
“But it’s been a lot of games that he’s missed because there’s been a lot of games in such a short space of time.
“I want my players to play some games to see how they are because a match is completely different to training.”
Will Longbottom has returned to training for Rovers.