Carlos Edwards says he stands a chance of returning to action in time for Sunderland's trip to Cardiff a week on Saturday.
But the Black Cats winger admits that putting a timescale on his recovery from a shoulder injury is difficult and he could yet find himself on the sidelines for several more weeks.
Edwards damaged his left shoulder in Sunderland's win at West Brom three weeks ago and the initial assessment was that he would be out for between six and eight weeks.
But, while Edwards insists he will not return until he has fully recovered, he is hoping that he will be fit to make his comeback ahead of that timescale - and at present he has an outside chance of being involved in Sunderland's visit to Ninian Park on March 31.
He said: "I don't know if I'll have a chance for the Cardiff game but I want to get back to playing as soon as possible.
"I really don't know how long I'm going to be out for but I'm pleased with the way things seem to be going so far.
"Pete Friar and the rest of the physio team have put a lot of work into helping me recover."
Edwards picked up the injury after he landed awkwardly following a challenge by West Brom's Richard Chaplow.
Edwards' injury was a blow to Sunderland's promotion bid, but the news that the Trinidad and Tobago star is running again and could be back within weeks will give boss Roy Keane a huge boost.
Edwards said: "It's great that I'm back doing some running again and I've been working with the ball a little bit so hopefully I won't lose too much fitness or my touch.
"I'm not involved in any physical contact though in training and we just have to see how the shoulder recovers from day to day.
"It's a shame for me because I felt I was playing well since my move to Sunderland and I was helping the team and you never want to pick up an injury when you're in good form.
"I've had a serious injury before in my career so, while it is disappointing to miss matches at the moment, I have to be grateful that it is not a lot worse.
"If things had worked out differently, I might have been out for the rest of the season but, as it is, it looks as though I'll definitely be back for some stage of it."
Sunderland have continued their promotion push without Edwards, cementing their place in the play-offs and moving to within a point of the automatic promotion slots.
He added: "I have to say the lads have done really well in the games that I've missed - seven points from a possible nine is an excellent return.
"We have improved our position in the play-offs with those results and have put extra pressure on the top two. I only hope it won't be too long before I am back in contention for a place."