Birmingham defender Scott Dann admits he will struggle to return to action before the end of the season from his torn hamstring.
Dann, who suffered the setback in January, will step up his rehabilitation work in the next few days with a view to returning to full training early next month, but he accepts it may be too late to take part in the club's relegation battle.
Dann said: "It's going well at the minute. I am in the gym doing a lot of strengthening work, building my muscles back up, and I hope to start running next week.
"If everything goes to plan I will be back training in early May but, when you have been out for so long, you need to train for a couple of weeks then get your match fitness back.
"In the position we are in the players need to be right on their mettle, so although, all being well, I will be training before the end of the season, it may be too soon to play, but I'll just take every day as it comes."
Dann sustained the injury during the Carling Cup semi-final, first leg clash at West Ham.
He said: "This is the longest I have been out but it has gone quicker than I thought it was going to.
"The physios have helped me a lot and it's about getting it right from now on and not rushing and making sure I come back stronger."
Meanwhile, fellow centre-back Martin Jiranek has put talks over his Blues future on hold until the end of the season.
The Czech international signed a one-year deal with City when moving from Spartak Moscow in the summer.
The 31-year-old has earned praise from Blues boss Alex McLeish for his performances since coming in for Dann in mid-January, but Jiranek is in no hurry to discuss his future.
He said: "I know that my contract expires in the summer. We will see what happens. I would prefer not to discuss it at the moment because I would like to concentrate on the remaining fixtures and we still have some difficult games to play.
"When the season is finished, we can come back to the subject."