Sunderland striker Andrew Nelson is targeting a return to action after revealing he has undergone surgery.
The 21-year-old was tipped for a breakthrough campaign at the Stadium of Light after he excelled during a loan spell at Falkirk last season, netting four times in 12 appearances north of the border.
Nelson was even handed an opportunity by Jack Ross in pre-season but picked up a knock during the 1-1 draw at Hartlepool United.
That was the latest in a series of niggling injuries for the striker and left him sidelined for the early weeks of the season.
But Nelson has now revealed that he has had successful surgery to address the underlying problem with the striker now eyeing a quick return to action.
On his Twitter page, Nelson posted: "After having a long duration of being out and a few minor setbacks, I can finally say I’ve had surgery to repair the underlying problem that’s had kept me from returning to play, looking forward to getting back out there on the pitch again."
Nelson's return could provide a boost to Jack Ross, who is also without summer signing Charlie Wyke as the striker looks set to miss several weeks after a recurrence of a knee injury.
That leaves the in-form Josh Maja and Jerome Sinclair as Sunderland's only senior striking options, but bringing Nelson into the fold could be an option once he has regained match fitness.
It is likely that Nelson will feature for the Black Cats' under-23 side before any senior return - with boss Elliott Dickman suggesting that the frontman would top up his fitness with the youngsters.
"Andrew is still doing a little bit of rehab so at this moment in time he’s still with the medical team and he will be for a few more weeks," said Dickman, speaking at the start of the month.
"I’m sure he’ll probably play some games for us to help him get fit again but at the moment he’s just with the medical staff."
Nelson is yet to make a competitive appearance for Sunderland, but has senior experience thanks to loan spells at Harrogate Town and Hartlepool United.