Arsenal and England winger Theo Walcott could be ready to make his comeback from a dislocated shoulder in a month, according to Arsene Wenger.
Walcott sustained the injury on international duty in November and his presence and explosive pace has been missed by the Gunners of late.
But he could soon be back in first-team contention, providing he gets good news from a meeting with his specialist.
''Walcott is the closest because he has four weeks before he sees a specialist again and he should get the green light,'' confirmed the Arsenal boss.
Walcott's return would be particularly timely given the club's apparent failure to sign long-term target Andrei Arshavin.
There was less encouraging news on fellow midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Tomas Rosicky, who could both be missing for another two months.
Skipper Fabregas is battling back from knee ligament damage, while Czech international Rosicky has been out for a year with a tendon problem.
''Rosicky is eight weeks. Fabregas, I believe, will be six to eight weeks before playing,'' Wenger the club's website.
Spaniard Fabregas had suggested at the weekend that he was ahead of schedule with his recovery, but Wenger remains circumspect.
He said: ''I can understand his optimism and we hope, but with a medial knee ligament you have to respect the time.''