Manchester United legend Andrew Cole has tipped Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return to action in December at the earliest after spending time in the gym with the Swedish superstar and chatting with him about his progress and condition.
"He is doing very good. I had a chat with Zlatan when he was in the gym the other day," Cole, who has been using United's facilities to improve his health and fitness after undergoing kidney transplant surgery in April, told MUTV this week.
Ibrahimovic suffered a potentially career threatening injury during a Europa League game against Anderlecht in April, but he has always been determined to return to action.
Having initially been released by the club in June, he recently re-signed with United and took over Wayne Rooney's former number 10 shirt for the new season.
Earlier this week, Ibrahimovic returned to team training for the first time and is reportedly only a couple of weeks of participating in full sessions. From there, he will need to build up his match fitness, but his comeback shouldn't then be too far away.
"I think he is looking forward to coming back, most probably in December or January time. I think he will definitely bring something to the football team, as we already know," Cole commented.
"After last season, he was fantastic. It will be nice to see him back when he returns."
Pressed on the impressive time-frame to get back on the pitch from such a serious knee injury in potentially less than eight months, Cole responded, "Yeah, December or January time, of course, it is not bad! But like he keeps saying, he is not human.
"I love his banter and I think his enthusiasm for the game of football, and what he is around the complex, speaks volumes about him."
Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals in all competitions for United last season, with England the sixth different country he has played in during an illustrious and lengthy club career.