Watford centre-half Jay Demerit has undergone 'revolutionary surgery'
Watford centre-half Jay DeMerit looks on course to make a quicker than expected return following eye surgery.
The USA international, who has played 172 games for Watford since arriving in 2004, has been out since late August.
But he travelled with the Horns squad for Saturday's game at Crystal Palace, going through a heading routine on the pitch afterwards.
"He's going to be back sooner rather than later, which is pleasing," said Watford boss Malcy Mackay.
"Revolutionary surgery was performed on him," Mackay told BBC Three Counties Radio. "And the timescale of his coming back to training was enhanced.
"That was down to the surgeon, down to physiotherapists and the fitness people, and he's working hard, at the moment, to be back as quickly as possible."
Mackay says his team are also looking forward to their FA Cup rematch with Chelsea next month.
There's a bit of excitement around the club. I'm sure the supporters can't wait to get down to Stamford Bridge
Watford boss Malcy Mackay
Watford were Chelsea's fifth round victims en route to the wealthy Londoners winning the trophy last May, going ahead through Tamas Priskin with 20 minutes left only to be crushed by a Nicolas Anelka hat-trick.
And Mackay is looking forward to the experience of visiting Stamford Bridge this time round, on 2 January.
"It's a good draw as far as we're concerned on a number of counts," he told BBC Three Counties Radio.
"I've got a young team who want to test themselves against Premier League players to see where they want to aspire to. And also financially for the club it's a good tie as well.
"I think it's one of those ones people look forward to.
"You either want to get the lowest-ranked team in the draw, or one of the best.
"They're the two areas you want to go for, so to get one of the best is fantastic.
"There's a bit of excitement around the club. I'm sure the supporters can't wait to get down to Stamford Bridge."
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