Fears that Danny Rose's latest knee injury could result in another lengthy spell on the sidelines appear to have been alleviated by reports that the Tottenham Hotspur left-back looks set to be fit for the high-profile Premier League fixture against rumoured suitors Manchester United at the end of January.
England's Rose spent a total of nine months out after eventually undergoing surgery on damaged medial ligaments last season and featured 11 times for club and country before hurting the same left knee during the 5-2 thrashing of Southampton on Boxing Day.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino said that the issue had made it "impossible" for the 27-year-old to train and he subsequently missed the league games against Swansea City and West Ham United and the FA Cup third-round victory over third-tier AFC Wimbledon while undergoing assessment.
Another update on Rose's condition from Tottenham has not been forthcoming, though the Evening Standard now report that scans have showed the injury is not serious and that the player expects to return to action in approximately two weeks.
Such a time frame would rule him out of the return fixture at Southampton and a trip to League Two side Newport County, but Rose reportedly expects to be fit for the midweek visit of United to Wembley Stadium on Wednesday 31 January.
The former Sunderland loanee has long since been considered as a key transfer target for Jose Mourinho, particularly after controversial summer comments regarding Tottenham's transfer policy for which he later apologised. The United coach is understood, according to The Mail, to have become frustrated by United's reluctance to sanction a £40m ($54.1m) switch this month.
Recent speculation suggests that Celtic's Kieran Tierney and Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon have emerged as alternative options in the event that United are priced out of a move for Rose, who is under contract at Tottenham until 2021.
Mourinho also looks to be boosted by the imminent return of one of his full-backs, with Antonio Valencia taking full part in training during a four-day warm weather camp in Dubai.
The Ecuadorian international has sat out each of the last six matches after being forced out of the 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion on 17 December with a hamstring complaint but was expected back for the meeting with managerless Stoke City.
Captain Michael Carrick is also now back in training after undergoing a cardiac ablation to correct an irregular heart rhythm, but it remains to be seen when he will be considered fit enough to add to his one solitary Carabao Cup appearance in 2017-18.
Toby Alderweireld and Eric Bailly remain long-term absentees for Tottenham and United respectively, while Harry Winks and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have also been sidelined of late.