Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller has been ruled out for a maximum of six weeks due to a dislocated shoulder.
The Jamaica international sustained the injury to his left shoulder when he fell awkwardly in Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Sunderland and it was initially feared he would be absent for three months.
However further tests show the injury is not as bad as first feared although he must still miss a significant chunk of the rest of the season.
Fuller has undergone scans, Stoke's official website confirmed, which showed no damage beyond the dislocation and he could return in just four weeks if his recovery goes well.
The 29-year-old has been an important member of Stoke's squad this season, scoring six goals in 22 appearances in the Barclays Premier League.
He has returned to favour with manager Tony Pulis, having been sent off in Stoke's match against West Ham on December 28 when he slapped captain Andy Griffin in the face.
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