Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov does not require surgery on his knee injury, but is still expected to be out of action for as much as three months.
The 31-year-old Bulgarian suffered ligament damage in the 1-0 defeat at Sunderland last weekend, with manager Gerard Houllier having feared that Petrov would need to go under the knife.
However, he told reporters on Friday afternoon:“We thought Stiliyan would need an operation, but he won’t need an operation.
“But the time for recovery will still be the same – between eight and 12 weeks.”
The Frenchman had earlier stated:“The worse case is that Stiliyan will be out for a minimum of two months.
“I think we should know by the end of the week whether he needs an operation or not.
“Let’s keep our fingers crossed he doesn’t require one, as it could then be treated conservatively, which will be the best scenario. The worst scenario, of course, is needing the operation.
“But Stiliyan is a strong lad who has had to go through injuries before and he has always come back.”