Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is optimistic striker James McFadden could be back playing before the end of the season from his cruciate ligament injury.
It was initially feared that McFadden would be out for at least six months and, by the time he had regained match sharpness, the campaign would effectively be over.
But McLeish is now more confident the Scotland international could play some part after Christmas, and said: "He's progressed very well, but we have to put the reins on him."
He added: "It's a cruciate injury. No matter how players recover from it, they certainly don't recover in two or three months.
"We have to put the brakes on his own passion to get fit again.
"He's doing some light weights, some bench presses, some leg presses. Things like that. One of the physios is working with him every day.
"Will he be back before the end of the season? I think he could be. Stefan Klos made a great recovery at Rangers from the same sort of thing when I was there.
"I think he was back in four or five months and James has shown that kind of progress as well.
"It was a shame it happened when he did because I felt James was going to have a big season and he had just played very well against Liverpool.
"It also hampered our striking situation because the others weren't quite ready to return."