Blackpool goalkeeper Paul Rachubka is back in light training after his knee injury was revealed to be not as serious as initially feared.
Rachubka sustained the problem - a recurrence of the injury which had kept him out for the first half of the season - last month and looked set for another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The 29-year-old has already returned to the training ground, though, and told www.blackpoolfc.co.uk: "It's been a long couple of weeks in the gym so I'm really enjoying being back out there."
He added: "It was the same injury that was repaired and stitched all back down where I'd torn my cartilage, keeping everything in which is what they've got to try and do. But it went again and this time the surgeon trimmed it and removed the damage. Hopefully I'll make a full recovery and it shouldn't affect day-to-day training.
"I did it in training on the Thursday and by the Saturday it was all fixed because the surgeon had done it quickly. It was the best I could have hoped for. I've had a quite quick recovery for what's happened."
Rachubka's progress will come as a boost to Blackpool boss Ian Holloway, who was looking into the possibility of making an emergency loan signing after the former Huddersfield player got injured.
At that time, fellow stopper Matt Gilks was still some time away from being ready for first-team action as he continued his recovery from a broken kneecap, meaning Richard Kingson was the Seasiders' only available senior goalkeeper.
Holloway put youngster Chris Kettings on the bench as Kingson's understudy for a match against Aston Villa and recalled Mark Halstead from a loan spell at Kettering.
Halstead then came on when Kingson picked up a knock in Monday's 3-1 defeat to Chelsea, although the latter is thought to be in contention to play in the forthcoming fixture at Blackburn, while Gilks is also in training and nearing match fitness.
"Obviously Matt Gilks is back now, Richard Kingson is doing well and Mark Halstead staked his claim with the minutes he got on Monday night," Rachubka said. "Competition is what we all want and I'm sure it's going to give the manager a few headaches."
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