SEAN WELSH feared he had broken an ankle as his prospects of a speedy return to action looked bleak.
Now, the Partick Thistle star hopes he will be fighting fit in time to help the Jags' bid for a league and cup double.
Welsh has not featured for Jackie McNamara's side since a training accident left him with serious ankle damage.
His injury was, thankfully, not as bad as initially thought and, while he will not rush his comeback, progress is being made on the road to recovery.
Welsh said: "It is not too bad, it is improving a bit now. It was slow to start off with and it was a bit frustrating, but it is coming along now and I have started to do some light jogging and a bit of work with the physio.
"It was a freak accident. I went up for a header in training and ended up landing awkwardly and my ankle went underneath me.
"We actually thought it was broken at first but thankfully it wasn't. It is not broken, so that is a good thing.
"I just want to get back playing now and I am working as hard as I can.
"We have not put a date or a timescale on it as such. I would hope to be back for the start of January.
"I have just got to take it how it comes, there could be reactions when I am back training. There is no timescale on it.
"The gaffer knows I want to be back playing as quickly as I can but, at the end of the day, you can only do what your body allows you."
Despite losing one of their most influential stars, Thistle have kept up their impressive run of form to retain their place at the top of the Irn-Bru First Division and clinch a Ramsdens Cup final berth.
His return in the coming weeks will be a huge boost to the Firhill squad and the midfielder knows there is plenty still to play for this season.
He said: "I was hoping to go injury-free this season but these things happen in football and you have got to get on with it. Thankfully the boys have kept up the good run while I have been out, so hopefully I can get back soon and help them push for promotion.
"It is hard sitting on the sidelines watching the boys play, but at the end of the day it is about the club and winning games.
"I want to be playing but as long as the boys are winning that is the main thing.
"There is a lot for the club to look forward to next year. We have got a massive few months trying to push for the league and we have got a cup final to come as well."
While McNamara will undoubtedly be glad to have Welsh back in action, the 22-year-old will present his boss with a major selection headache when he is passed fit for duty.
The Thistle gaffer has several midfield men at his disposal and Welsh knows he has a fight on his hands upon his return.
He said: "It will be up to me to work hard and try to get back in the team. It is going to be hard because the boys have done well and the gaffer has got a lot of good players in the squad.
"It is a good headache for the gaffer to have, but it is up to me to push myself and win back a place in the side."