Wounded England skipper Michael Vaughan believes he will be able to overcome his latest knee injury in time to play against Australia in the next year's VB series which starts in January.
The 31-year-old batsman has not played for his country since February this year after his reoccurring knee injury flared up again in India.
Resulting surgery has ruled him out of the upcoming Ashes Test series but he told the BBC he hoped his return to the international arena would coincide with the limited-overs games that follow.
"It's going to be a long road but hopefully I'll be back playing cricket in the early part of 2007," he said.
"It's been a tough year and I thought I'd got very close to playing again but it wasn't right and I had to have another operation."
"At least it looks like I'm on the upward slide and I can look forward to playing cricket again. It's going to be quite a hard rehab but I'm looking forward to getting back in 2007."
Vaughan guided England to its first Ashes triumph in 18 years last year but a spate of knee problems since then have seen him miss Tests against India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.