Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has revealed Ben Watson may recover from a broken leg in time for the end of the season having returned to training.
There were fears Watson's season was over when he broke his leg against Liverpool last November, but the midfielder returned to training well ahead of schedule.
"He is already on the grass and that is something we didn't expect until probably the end of March," Martinez said. "I will be very surprised if he doesn't get at least one or two games before the season finishes."
Watson was lucky to avoid needing surgery and Martinez praised the 27-year-old for his attitude during his injury and his excitement at being back in training.
"That is very encouraging and it shows a lot from Ben - how he has been acting on a daily basis and how professional he has been in his recovery," Martinez said. "It is a real good boost for everyone to see his smiling face around the training ground and he is looking forward to just being on the pitch, which is a refreshing attitude."
Wigan were beaten 3-0 at Anfield the day Watson suffered the injury and they face the Reds at the DW Stadium this weekend.
"It was a disappointing moment but now, as we play the return fixture, we see all the positive vibes from Ben that he is going to be hopefully fit before the end of the season," Martinez added.
Wigan currently sit 17th with 24 points from 27 games.