Melbourne Victory's James Donachie is optimistic of making a return to the field early in 2018.
The defender suffered a quad injury in the Round 2 clash with Melbourne City on October 14 and hasn't featured since.
"I'm looking to be training in early January and in mid to late January I should be back on the field, all things going well and ticking all the boxes," Donachie said.
A January return would be a big boost to Victory's squad with the Asian Champions League kicking off in February.
Melbourne will host Korean side Ulsan Hyundai on February 13 on Match Day One.
Following a strong pre-season, which saw Donachie cement a place in the starting XI, the timing of the injury was far from ideal.
"It was a funny one, I was talking to the physios and I didn't have anything wrong leading up to it so it was a bit of a surprise to me.
"There wasn't much pain because it wasn't a tear, it had come all the way off [the bone] so I stayed on for a bit but it just didn't feel right and had to come off after a while limping around."