Manchester United manager David Moyes has revealed Marouane Fellaini will return to training next week after having the cast removed from his wrist.
When the £27.5million Belgian was struck down by a back complaint last month, Moyes opted to send the midfielder away for long-awaited surgery.
It was a further setback for Fellaini, who has struggled to make an impact since his summer move from Everton, and is yet to find the net for his new club. Even Fellaini's present absence has attracted criticism, with some fans questioning why the 26-year-old could not have played on with a light cast on his wrist.
Moyes has said such a prospect was a non-starter. "Fellaini will have the cast taken off his hand on Monday," Moyes said. "It was a serious wrist injury which needed a major operation.
"It was bad. He had to make sure he got it sorted properly otherwise it might have affected him for the rest of his life.
"He has been able to do lots of running and lots of training but nothing with a football. Hopefully next week we will get him back."
Meanwhile, Moyes has been fined £8,000 and warned about his conduct after his comments about match officials following the defeat by Sunderland in the League Cup.
The sanction, the same as handed out to Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers for his criticism of referees, comes after Moyes said United were "playing referees as well as the opposition" following his side's third defeat in-a-row.