Reports that Gareth Bale was set to miss Wales' upcoming fixture with Ireland was naturally met with some scepticism from Ireland fans.
Such are the wonders of modern medicine and science, and the inherent tinge of pessimism in simply being Irish. And while you'd never wish injury on any player, Bale's absence for March would undoubtedly come as a major boost to Martin O'Neill's men.
Last week, having undergone successful surgery on his ankle, new reports emerged in the Spanish media that Bale would be ruled out for up to four months, and not three, which would have likely ruled him out for the crunch clash at the Aviva.
However, speaking at the Wales Sport Awards in Cardiff - where he was given a Special Recognition Award after guiding Wales' Euro 2016 exploits - Welsh manager Chris Coleman gave an ominous hint that Bale will be back fit in time for his side's crucial World Cup qualifier in Dublin:
If anybody is going to be back before the time that has been given to us it will be Bale. With that type of injury you are looking at three months-ish.
But three months is a long time. You can get a setback, or be fast-tracked if anything is going really well.
We are hoping it's the latter but we have a bit of time between now and March and he has a bit of time to make sure he gets himself right. He is OK. People were talking about a three-month period and if anybody is going to get back before then it will be him.
He is an absolute machine - such an athlete. Physically he is probably one of the fittest players I have ever seen. He is a consummate professional and lives his life right and if anyone has a chance of getting back before it will be him.
Considering the caution with which managers treat injuries in the modern game, it would certainly appear Coleman is confident of having the Real Madrid forward back ahead of schedule.
Bale himself took to Twitter to provide an update as to his fitness, thanking fans for their support and declaring that his ankle 'is feeling better every day'.
Let's be honest, barring any unfortunate setbacks from Wales and Bale's perspective, he'll be running at us in Dublin in the New Year.