Liverpool defender Glen Johnson's ankle injury which was expected to rule him out for 10 weeks is not as severe as first thought, the England international has confirmed.
The 29 year old limped out of the win over Manchester United in early September and having missed England's World Cup qualifying double-header against Moldova and Ukraine was originally expected to be out until November.
But following reports that Johnson's ankle problem would see him only miss six weeks of the season, the ex-Chelsea and Portsmouth full-back has confirmed he expects to return sooner than expected.
"Injury doesn't seem as bad as first thought, hopefully be back sooner than originally expected. Thank you everyone for the 'Get well' messages," Johnson wrote on Twitter.
Johnson is Liverpool's first choice right-back having made 36 Premier League starts last season and in his absence Andre Wisdom is likely to deputise, starting at Swansea City on Monday.
Wisdom was appointed the new England Under-21 captain by Gareth Southgate but was sent off in the draw with Finland earlier this week and will be keen to return to club duties.
Another player who appears set to make a quicker than anticipated return from injury is Daniel Sturridge.
Like Johnson, Sturridge missed England's World Cup qualifying fixtures after picking up a thigh problem prior to the win over United at Anfield.
Following Football Association chairman Greg Dyke's speech in which he criticised players who withdrew from international fixtures, Sturridge faces sparking a club v country row should he return from the start for Liverpool upon the resumption of the Premier League.
Sturridge has scored five goals in four games for Liverpool this season amid a 100% successful start to the 2013/14 campaign for the Reds which sees the side at the top the Premier League table.
Should he continue his impressive form, Sturridge will likely be involved when England resume their bid to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil in October.
England require wins over Montenegro and Poland to qualify and captain Steven Gerrard would welcome back the 24 year old.
"The stage is set for Daniel if he can get himself fit," Gerrard said. "He is in terrific form.
"I think we lacked a little bit of a cutting edge in the final third [against Ukraine], but that isn't a worry because there are some big players missing for England at the moment.
"If we can get Rooney and Sturridge fit they will be two big players for us, and they are the type of players you will need to break down the two teams we are coming up against.
"Our record is quite good at Wembley. We proved that by beating Brazil there so if we defend as we did against Ukraine and have a little bit more of that cutting edge in the final third, we will get there. I am really confident we can get the job done."
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