Hartlepool United boss Richard Money has refused to put a timeframe on any potential return to action for Luke Williams.
Under previous manager Matthew Bates hopes had been high the former Middlesbrough midfielder could return to action next month.
Those hopes appear to be fading with Money believing Williams has a lot of work ahead of him to return after two operations on an injured knee.
"I can’t give you a timeframe," he said when asked about the player's availability.
"He is still in rehab. I cannot say any more than that really.
"He is not even doing any work yet, a little in the gym but he has a lot of muscle to build back after two ops.
"He will not be back in the foreseeable future."
This news comes as a blow to Pools, who are yet to see Williams in action following his high-profile return to the club in the summer.
Williams signed a deal following his release by Scunthorpe United in the summer - a move sanctioned by owner Raj Singh.