Borussia Dortmund defender Lucas Piszczek has tentatively targeted the second half of the season to make a first-team return following hip and groin surgery.
Pisczcek played through the pain barrier with the hip problem last season as Dortmund reached the Champions League final, but needed an operation soon after that has left the Pole on the long-term injury list.
The right-back has admitted that he will need to exercise a measure of caution as he begins to step up his rehabilitation, declaring that he expects to be fully fit for the second half of the season.
He told Bild: "My goal is to come back for the second half of the season.
"Even though I have a little pain every now and then, it is definitely much better than before the operation. I am satisfied.
"But I will do nothing unnecessary to put myself under pressure after such a major operation."