Roberto Martinez says defender Leighton Baines is making a better than expected recovery from his fractured toe – but warned he may still be absent until the New Year.
Baines suffered the injury during last month's 3-3 draw with Liverpool and was initially told he would miss between 10 days and six weeks.
That estimate still stands but Martinez is pleased with the England man's progress to date.
Speaking at Monday's pre-Manchester United press conference, Martinez said: "He [Baines] came to the game on Saturday and he's progressing really well - better than we expected.
"We don't know [an exact timescale]. We all know that it could go up to six weeks. Knowing Leighton, it could be a lot closer than what we expect.
"But it's one of those situations where we'll have to take it day by day and see how quickly he can recover."