Ousmane Dembele could yet return in time for Barcelona's Clasico clash with Real Madrid in December, according to the specialist who operated on the Frenchman.
Barca's club-record EUR105million signing suffered a hamstring tear in just his third game for the Catalan giants, with initial assessments suggesting he would miss the rest of 2017.
But Dembele is recovering ahead of schedule and, following his return to light training, specialist Sakari Orava could not rule out an appearance at Santiago Bernabeu on December 23.
"[The recovery] is going quicker than expected," Orava told Cadena SER. "He has already said he wants to come back before the planned date.
"But we don't know if that will be possible. Maybe, [he could face Madrid,] maybe, but I can't assure you of anything.
"Right now, he is training in the sandpits that Barca have and I think that, by the middle of November, he'll be able to touch a ball again.
"If he did too much now there would be a risk of a relapse but, if he takes things calmly, everything will be okay."
Barca lead LaLiga by four points from Valencia as they remain unbeaten after 11 matches, with Madrid eight points behind in third.