Liverpool FC striker Daniel Sturridge is progressing well with his rehabilitation, with a potenital comeback touted after September's international break.
Having had hip surgery in May, the clinical forward - who has scored 35 goals in 55 Premier League for the Reds - was expected to be out for a minimum of four months.
But the England international is now due to return earlier than initially anticipated, with his rehabilitation programme in Boston is nearing completion.
Sturridge will fly back to England this weekend to begin training with his Liverpool team-mates and though manager Brendan Rodgers has been tentative to name a specific return date, he could be available for the club's trip to rivals Manchester United on September 12.
The 25-year-old, who last month hinted that he was edging closer towards full fitness, posted an update on his progress to Instagram on Wednesday, with a video of him running and doing several training drills with the ball captioned "Closer..."
Striker set to make long-awaited return in coming months
His long-awaited return will provide a huge boost for the Reds, who massively missed their first-choice striker as they struggled for goals last season.
Though Rodgers has bolstered his attacking options with the additions of Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings and the arrival of Divock Origi - Sturridge is expected to remain as the club's first-choice frontman.
Sturridge has been one of the Northern Irishman's most successful signings as Liverpool manager, scoring 40 goals in 66 games after making the £12.5 million switch from Chelsea.
But his time on Merseyside has been tarnished by regular injuries - and he was restricted to just 12 league appearances last season after several setbacks followed an injury sustained on international duty.
Thigh and calf problems kept him out until January - where he scored upon his return against West Ham United. But he struggled to regain his best form and a succession of niggles meant he was on the sidelines again after the Reds' FA Cup quarter-final victory away at Blackburn Rovers.
But the surgery, performed by renowned orthopaedic surgeon Bryan Kelly in New York, is believed to be a long-term solution to Sturridge's injury woes.