Daley Blind is on schedule to make his Manchester United return early in the new year, according to the midfielder's father.
Blind suffered a knee ligament problem while representing the Netherlands on international duty in November, prompting fears he was set for a lengthy period out of action.
Those concerns were eased by United manager Louis van Gaal, who recently reiterated the problem was not as serious as initially feared and insisted the club will begin to consider a return date, which occured at the end of November.
The midfielder's father and former Dutch international Danny Blind has provided a further update, telling the Dutch press his son underwent a further scan last week and is now ready to begin his recovery ahead of his return to the first team.
"On Tuesday he had a scan," Blind Snr was quoted as saying by v-bal.nl. "Everything looked fine on the scan. Daley can really begin rehabilitation now, but is still on schedule."
Of Blind's injury, Van Gaal said last week: "It is not so heavy but what is not so heavy in his injury, it is not heavy but the injury is not next week. Christmas maybe. I think that at the end of December maybe we see light in the tunnel."
The manager's efforts to lift United out of their slump this season have been undermined by a spate of injuries but it would appear the club are now reaching the end of the tunnel as the busy Christmas period approaches.
Defenders Jonny Evans and Rafael da Silva have returned to the first team after their layoffs and are in contention to face Southampton on Monday 8 December. Phil Jones is also closing on his return to training after suffering shin splints in October, while Radamel Falcao is also expected to have a role to play off the bench in the coming games as he edges towards full fitness.