Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford could avoid having to have surgery as he aims to return a month before the end of the Premier League season.
United’s top scorer had previously been ruled out until April with a double stress fracture of the back, but he still plans to play a key role for England at Euro 2020.
The 22-year-old has been a regular starter under Gareth Southgate and would have been the likely replacement up front for the injured Harry Kane before his own set back.
The Sun have now reported that Rashford told his pals that he expects to be back in action for the final month of the season for the Red Devils, freeing him up for a starting role for the Three Lions in June and possibly July.
The report adds that United’s medics are being patient with the forward and are putting him under no pressure to return sooner than planned.
He is also expected to skip the warm-weather training camp in Marbella next week as he rests while wearing a custom-made girdle for protection.
He tweeted after going off injured in the FA Cup clash against Wolves: “On the pitch or not, Man Utd fans don’t get much bigger than me.
“You best believe I'll be involved in team meetings, team huddles and team sessions throughout this recovery.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then added: "He's not had that injury before.
"He complained a little bit after Burnley [on December 28] - he felt it the first time, and we managed him as well as we could then.
"He had some days off for treatment, was taken off in games and suddenly this was a new injury. He didn't have any injuries before then."
Having brought Rashford on as a second-half substitute in that fixture, Solskjaer was later criticised by Ian Wright for risking his striker who was struggling with fitness.
"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he knew Marcus Rashford was struggling and played him against Wolves - now he's out for three months," said Wright.
"We're talking about an explosive player that's going to need to be right [to play].
"Solskjaer's under intense pressure to get United back where they were and he's thought about himself before he thought about the player - Solskjaer has put himself above Marcus Rashford's health.
"Now, one of their most promising and most important players is out and that has to come to the manager's door."