Blackpool manager Terry McPhillips says the club are hopeful club captain Jimmy Ryan will be fit to return from injury before the end of 2018.
The midfielder underwent successful surgery on his knee at the end of September.
The 30-year-old has yet to play this season, having suffered a knock to his knee in Blackpool's last game of the 2017/18 campaign at Rotherham United.
It was initially thought the injury would clear up with rest over the summer but he was told by a specialist that an operation was his only option.
Rehab is well underway and McPhillips is now hoping to see his player return by the end of the year.
“Jimmy has had his operation and it was a success, so that’s good," he said.
“He’s been in a straight leg brace for a few weeks, but he’s now in a smaller one where he can bend it a little.
“He lives about 800 yards from me so I’ve been to see him a few times. I’ve dropped some stuff off for him like painkillers and knee braces, stuff like that.
“He’s in good spirits, as best he can, and we’re just looking forward to getting him back now. Hopefully that will be Christmas time, maybe early January.”