Swindon Town Head Coach Luke Williams still believes that there is a faint chance Yaser Kasim will kick a ball in competitive anger again before the 2015/16 campaign comes to a close.
The midfielder – who has just 25 appearances to his name for the Robins this term – has been out of action since the 0-0 draw with Gillingham back in early February.
Kasim left that game on crutches and scan results determined that knee ligament damage was sustained, with the end of March pencilled in as the most realistic return date.
However, the injury has taken more time to heal than first thought and the 23-year-old has spent a chunk of his rehab period back home in Iraq.
Kasim has since returned to these shores but has now taken himself off to a professional rehab centre in Europe in order to boost and aid his recovery, leading Williams to harbour aspirations of being able to select his Iraqi international before the end of the season.
“Yaser has actually gone away again to a sports specific training complex because we’re not in a position to be privileged enough to have everything at our disposal at Swindon,” he told members of the local press.
“The medical staff do a brilliant job here but there are facilities around where you’ve got access to the latest of everything, so Yaser has taken it upon himself to go and continue his rehab somewhere in Europe.
“It is something I’ve learnt this season that you have to try and ease players back into the fold and resist the temptation to throw them in too early because it normally leads to a second breakdown.
“We’ve got to do the same with Yaser.
“As much as we want him on the pitch immediately we’ve got to be careful with him.”
There are also question marks over whether or not Lawrence Vigouroux will play again this season after the goalkeeper had to have a blood clot removed, and Williams was quick to admit that it would be a massive boost to be able to call upon the services of both the on-loan Liverpool youngster and Kasim once more this season.
“It would be enormous because these are two key players in this squad,” he continued.
“We look at them as senior players, they are still young men but the amount of games they’ve played and their impact is enormous.
“To see those two come back in would give everybody a lift.
“It is likely (that they will both play again this season).
“You never know because every human’s body is different and reacts differently and there can be a hiccup along the way, but both players are very professional and doing everything that they possibly can to get back in the correct time.
“We hope that their rehabilitation continues steadily.”