Wayne Rooney could make a surprise return to the Manchester United team to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday, British media reported on Monday.
The talismanic England striker suffered ankle ligament damage in last Tuesday's first leg in Munich which Bayern won 2-1.
However, according to sources close to the club, Rooney has made a much quicker recovery than expected and has the chance of playing despite manager Alex Ferguson ruling him out for "two to three weeks" last Friday.
United expect Rooney back for the derby game against Manchester City on April 17, but Ferguson could have him back sooner.
"Rooney hope of shock return against Bayern," read a headline in the Daily Telegraph, while the Daily Mail said "United test Wayne for Bayern comeback."
Last week the nation held its breath with Rooney sustaining the injury so close to the World Cup which starts in South Africa on June 11, but although he left Munich on crutches and with his foot in a protective plastic boot, he has made good progress on a water treadmill and an exercise bike.
The England striker has been in top form this season, netting 34 times and Fabio Capello's side are counting on him for the World Cup finals.
The 24-year-old had scored United's goal in the second minute against Bayern but was left writhing on the pitch in stoppage time, seconds before Ivica Olic scored Bayern's winner.