Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale says centre-back Jordan Moore-Taylor could be available by the end of the month after returning to training.
The 21-year-old had surgery in June after breaking the same bone in his foot for the third time in a year.
"He should be back in the reckoning in two or three weeks," Tisdale said.
"He was on the top of his game going into the end of last season, so we'd like to have all our players firing as Jordan was," Tisdale told BBC Sport.
Moore-Taylor played 27 games last season despite breaking his metatarsal in pre-season and again in October.
But Tisdale is confident the player will not suffer a fourth break.
"What's different is the treatment he's had, he's had a pin put in the metatarsal whereas last time he didn't," Tisdale explained.
"That shouldn't budge and we should be looking at a a player now who'll come back and not suffer again with the same injury.
"His challenge is to get back to the level he finished the season with and once he's back then there's suddenly more competition for places again."
Moore-Taylor is an Exeter academy product and was a virtual ever-present in his side from January until the end of last season.