Jose Mourinho is confident about having Harry Kane back by next weekend as he concedes Tottenham were "scared" about the severity of his injury.
The forward hobbled off in their 3-1 defeat against Liverpool last week.
Original fears were that Kane could be out for several weeks due to an ankle injury.
But a scan revealed that the damage was not as bad as first thought and he could be back far earlier than expected.
Mourinho's side face Chelsea and West Brom within the next five days, but both those games will come too soon for Kane.
Tottenham then take on Everton in the FA Cup before travelling to Manchester City and could have their striker available for selection.
Mourinho said: "Good progress. He's happy with the progress. Of course we are happy too.
"I think it's not a very optimistic thing to say next week he should be playing. I think it will be just a consequence of good evolution, so we are happy.
"We were a bit scared when everything happened but now we are a bit more positive and normally next week we play Everton midweek, City weekend, I believe for one of these matches he should be back."
Kane's return cannot come too soon for Mourinho who saw his side lose 1-0 at Brighton without their star man.
Heung-min Son and Gareth Bale both started in attack, but Tottenham could only muster four shots on target all game against the Seagulls.
Kane has again been his team's primary source of goals having bagged 19 times in all competitions.
And Mourinho confessed that he felt his side struggled too much without their talisman.
"I can imagine that the team when it loses is a sad team," he said.
"The reaction after that defeat was not phenomenal, the fact that you lose, I don't like to speak on behalf of the players, but they feel too much the absence of a player like Harry [Kane]."
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