Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish will resist the temptation to rush striker James McFadden back early from his cruciate ligament injury.
McFadden is making good progress from the setback suffered in training in early September.
McLeish believes the Scotland international is benefiting from being in prime physical condition. But he knows the dangers of recalling the ex-Everton player ahead of schedule however encouraging the medical bulletins may be.
McLeish said: "The progress Faddy has made, you are thinking 'wow, he's going to be back quick, back before Christmas'.
"But you have to be careful and put the reins on a wee bit and let things heal properly.
"The actual rejoining of the cruciate actually has to take time to heal."
McLeish admitted: "What's really helped Faddy is the condition he came back in the summer. He's probably his leanest ever and fittest ever.
"I just had such a good feeling about James and this season before he was struck down so cruelly with this injury.
"He's training well. He's kept himself in good shape and all that helps in the recovery of a player from injury.
"If he had gone off and indulged, having pints of shandy in the house every night and biscuits and things like that, it wouldn't have aided his recovery.
"You've got to credit the player for his discipline."