Melbourne Victory are set for an injury boost heading into 2018 with key defender James Donachie hoping to return to action in early 2018.
Donachie hasn’t played since he suffered a quad injury in the derby defeat against Melbourne City in Round 2.
"I'm looking to be training in early January and in mid to late January I should be back on the field, all things going well and ticking all the boxes," Donachie said.
"It was a funny one, I was talking to the physios and I didn't have anything wrong leading up to it so it was a bit of a surprise to me.
"There wasn't much pain because it wasn't a tear, it had come all the way off [the bone] so I stayed on for a bit but it just didn't feel right and had to come off after a while limping around."
Donachie made 23 appearances for Victory in the Hyundai A-League last season, making 122 clearances, 46 interceptions and 23 tackles.
He scored one goal and was part of the side that lost the grand final on penalties to Sydney FC.
A January return would be a big boost to Kevin Muscat’s squad with Victory to have a hectic schedule in February with the start of the AFC Champions League campaign.
Victory begin their ACL tilt with a clash at home against Korean side Ulsan Hyundai on February 13.
They currently sit seventh in the Hyundai A-League after 10 rounds on 10 points, outside the top six on goal difference, ahead of Sunday's clash with Brisbane Roar.