Mansfield Town midfielder Alex MacDonald is hoping to be back in first team contention by mid-February after another setback with his knee problem.
MacDonald has been out of action since needing an operation on his knee after an injury back in September at Cambridge United.
Stags boss David Flitcroft was just starting to pencil in comeback friendlies for MacDonald when the knee swelled up again last week in yet another blow for the combative midfielder.
“I had another small setback at the start of last week,” he said.
“I was on the very latter stages of my rehab, which was the impact side of things in the gym – jumping on it and putting weight through it.
“It had a little reaction to that and the knee swelled up again, which was an issue.
“To be fair, Tom and Lizzie (head physio Thomas Whittamore and sports therapist Lizzie Read) sent me straight to the specialist.
“He drained my knee, taking 15mm of fluid out of it, and then he injected it with steroid, which is the last resort for it.
“We are now pushing on with it and I have been back in the gym. The knee has felt better than it did prior to that last inflammation.
“So fingers crossed I will be out on the grass within two or three weeks, then maybe back in four or five weeks.”