Andy Carroll is hoping he could be back in contention in good time for Newcastle United's end of season run-in.
Carroll was ruled out of this weekend's clash with Crystal Palace and told to "stay strong" by his boss Steve Bruce.
But the Chronicle understands that Carroll is not only confident of playing a big part in the last two months of the season, he is also not flustered about appearing in enough matches to trigger an extension to the deal he signed in the summer.
Carroll has made 14 appearances so far in the Premier League and FA Cup and it is thought he must get beyond the 20-game mark.
It is also believed that it has been Carroll's hamstring that has been troubling him in recent weeks, not simply his hip.
As Bruce pointed out on Friday, the good news is that Carroll has not suffered any fresh damage to his ankle.
Carroll could miss the game with Burnley next weekend and it remains to be seen whether he is involved in the FA Cup clash at West Bromwich Albion.
The trip to Southampton on March 7 is a possibility for Carroll but while he feels he could be back within two or three weeks, nobody at the club was prepared to put an exact comeback date on his return.
Carroll did not travel with the team to London for the clash with Palace at Selhurst Park.
However, he turned up at Whitley Park to support his younger team-mates in the Under-23 squad as they progressed to the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup tournament with a 6-2 win over Scunthorpe United.