Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Saturday he was hopeful winger Vinicius Junior could return quicker from injury than the six-week absence predicted.
The Brazilian suffered a hamstring injury against Celta Vigo in La Liga on 25 August and missed the subsequent win against Getafe.
Vinicius, 23, will miss the club's Champions League debut this week at home against Union Berlin but now seems set to be back before the visit to Italian champions Napoli on 3 October.
"He is recovering very well, we shouldn't force his recovery, but he's well, he's increasing his workload," Ancelotti told reporters ahead of Madrid's Liga clash against Real Sociedad on Sunday.
"Next week I think he can start doing part of the sessions with the team, I think he will recover before the six weeks spoken about."
Ancelotti was also asked about Vinicius' absence from the 12-man shortlist to win FIFA's The Best prize for the top player in 2023.
"He was very sad... he was crying for three or four hours," joked Ancelotti.
Real Madrid have won all four of their opening four La Liga games and are top of the table.