Whitehead had initially been informed he had been ruled out for around nine months with a cruciate knee problem, but has since been told he could be back in action by mid-November.
"He just kept the brace on in the chance the knee did start to heal by itself. He gave it a chance and it seems to have worked and, fingers crossed, I'll be back in mid-November. Having been told I was going to be out for the season, obviously it's a massive boost for me.
"Hopefully, if all things go well, I'll be able to return a lot earlier than expected. But it will be a caution first policy. You've got to be very careful with knee injuries, particularly when it's one like I've got. There will be no rushing back just for the sake of it. We'll play it by ear, you've got to give yourself targets, but if I don't make that target I won't be tempted to force myself to make it."
Whitehead has also revealed that it was only after a couple of heart-to-hearts with manager Roy Keane that he began to come to terms with what had happened.
He added: "The manager had his fair share of injuries as a player and he was brilliant with me.
"We had a good few chats when I was first told I'd miss the whole of the season and it was great for me in terms of helping me come to terms with the disappointment. It really helped to have someone who could say the right words at the right time. He's been there and done it so he knew exactly how I felt."