Sam Nombe's enthusiasm to rush back has been a huge boost for Russell Martin, but the manager is eager not to bring him back too soon.
The 20-year-old broke into the side under Paul Tisdale earlier this season, but an injury in training has ruled him out since mid-September.
This week, along with Rhys Healey, Nombe has returned to the training ground, but the manager said neither are expected back before Christmas.
Nombe's exuberance has impressed Martin all season, and said he is proving a handful for the medical team who are trying to keep his expectations in check so not to rush him back before he is fully prepared to do so.
Martin said: "Sam's got a youthfulness and eagerness to get back, so we're trying not to rush him! He wants the medical staff to do everything now.
"Sam put himself in a great position from nowhere. No-one expected him to do what he did, apart from himself possibly. He brings a freshness and fearlessness we've lacked since he got injured. He just wants to play, and I love that attitude. If we can work out the rough edges, we've got a real player. We're so excited to get him back.
"He couldn't care less about who he's playing against, whether it's Sunday League or Premier League. I'm excited to have that back in the squad."