Wayne Rooney says he hopes to be ready to make his comeback from a knee injury for Manchester United in early April.
The England and United skipper has not featured for the Red Devils since damaging ligaments in the defeat at Sunderland in February, missing eight games in that period.
The 30-year-old will have to watch from the stands again this week for two huge games as United gear up to face Liverpool in the Europa League before the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Rooney says he is wary of pushing himself too hard in a bid to get back to full fitness, fearing he could suffer a setback which might rule him out of Euro 2016.
The striker hopes it will not be long until he is fit to play again, indicating the start of next month as a possibility.
“Everything is going as planned,” he told the club’s official website. “Rehab is going well but, hopefully, it won’t be too long.
“I don’t know [when I will return]. Obviously, I will miss the international games but, hopefully, it won’t be too long. It’s not too bad but obviously it’s [a case of] just being a bit cautious. It’s difficult to push back. If I tried to push it to be involved now, it could cause more damage. So, being cautious, after the international break is more realistic.
“I am hoping that, if I am back when I am expected to be back, depending on the two cups we are in, then there could be over 10 games left plus the England games.
“I was saying before it has been eight games that I have missed. I didn’t realise it was that many so it’s obviously really frustrating.