Sheffield United striker Rob Hulse could be back for the start of next season, after fears his leg injury would keep him out until Christmas.
Hulse is treated on the pitch before being carried off
Hulse, 27, suffered a double leg fracture after colliding with Chelsea keeper Petr Cech earlier this month and as a consequence underwent surgery.
Blades boss Neil Warnock said: "He was told the injury has knitted well.
"He could be okay for pre-season, and he needs that challenge to be ready for the start of the season."
Warnock added: "That is great news because we thought it might be after Christmas.
"Rob's had injuries before and he knows the challenges that lie ahead and he's got to put in the hard work now."
Hulse has scored eight Premiership goals this term, which is almost a third of the club's total and more than double any of his team-mates.