Rhys Williams says he could be back in action for Middlesbrough before the end of 2012.
The 24-year old Australia defender has been out of action since August with an ankle injury, which required surgery, but suggests that his recovery is coming along well and he could be back playing for the Championship club in late December.
“I’ve just started running again but there is a slight limp there which I have to get rid of," Williams said. "There’s a lot of work to do yet but being back playing by Christmas or early in the New Year is certainly a realistic target.
“I knew it was bad straight away and the pain was so excruciating I was nearly in tears. I couldn’t move and the surgeon said it was almost dislocated.
“The initial diagnosis was three to four months and I feel I am not that far way now. The main thing is get my running right and then I can really kick on.
“It was freakish injury but doesn’t surprise me. I seem to get the weird ones.
“I don’t want to say this but I am kind of used to being injured and I know what it takes to come back and come back stronger.”