West Bromwich Albion head coach Slaven Bilic believes Ahmed Hegazi is doing all he can to recover from the ankle injury which has kept him out of action since July.
The centre-back, who played all four games for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations, went under the knife to fix the niggling problem which troubled him intermittently last season.
Regardless, he featured in 39 league games for Baggies, who made the Championship playoffs at the end of the season.
Bilic, appointed by the West Midlands club in June, has been impressed with Hegazi’s desire to return to full fitness.
“With Hegazi, he’s ahead of the schedule,” Bilic said regarding the defender’s recovery.
“It’s still four or five weeks. He’s a good professional and you know him better than me - he’s crying to come back.
“It’s great to have somebody like that in the squad. He’s four or five weeks away.”
Hegazi has missed out on West Brom’s opening three games of the season, against Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Luton Town.
Bilic’s side remain unbeaten having secured slender 2-1 wins in game weeks one and three, while playing out to a stalemate with the Lions.
The fourth-placed side host Reading on Wednesday night as they seek to continue their unbeaten start to the season.