Liverpool midfielder Harry Kewell does not expect to play again for at least another four months after undergoing foot and groin surgery.
Kewell is targeting a return to action early in 2007
Kewell, 28, has not played since June during World Cup duty with Australia, where he his now recovering.
Kewell told the Australian media: "We're looking past February. I'm just itching to get back into playing but it's going to be a while.
"It's been hard, seven weeks so far, and I'm looking forward to going home."
Kewell was diagnosed with septic arthritis, a bacterial infection in the joints of his left foot, and returned to Australia for specialist treatment last month.
Whilst there, the midfielder has undergone surgery on a persistent groin problem and is now awaiting the all-clear.
"My foot is a bit sore at the moment and my groin is a bit sore too," said Kewell.
"But the surgeons are very happy. I meet up with them again on Friday and if they give me the all-clear I'm back off to England."
Kewell, who joined Liverpool in 2003, is also anxious to help put some spark back into the Reds' Premiership campaign.
"I think we're playing well," said Kewell. "But we're just not finishing our chances.
"If you look at our past record we've always had a slow start to the season, but we always pick it up and we know where the back of the net is and it only takes one spark from any one of our great players to do that."