Kell Brook looks likely to seek an extension to the deadline he has to observe before being mandated to defend his IBF world welterweight title.
The Sheffield champion was stopped by Gennady Golovkin in September, but that high-profile fight was at middleweight.
However, a serious operation to his right eye socket was needed after the contest, which will delay his return.
It’s been suggested Brook will return to the ring at light middleweight, but if he wants to go back to the 10st 7lbs division to keep his treasured belt, he will need more time to recover.
After a couple of holiday breaks with friends and family, his eye will be re-assessed - but it seems that he won’t be sparring until at least February time.
That moves any possible defence back towards the Summer.
The man most eagerly awaiting news is mandatory challenger Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) who won his 21st straight fight last August in New York and hasn’t campaigned since.
While Spence would be an interesting challenge for the Ingle fighter, it wouldn’t be as big a purse as he’d expect if he boxed the likes of Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto or Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
With his 31st birthday coming next May, and despite his huge earnings from the Golovkin show, Brook wants only significant fights with big pay packets.
Meanwhile another welterweight contender Robert Guerrero says he saw a new side to GGG in the Brook encounter, as talks continue over a GGG v Alvarez scrap.
“Triple G, he looked good in his last fight, but he got hit with a lot of punches” he said. “ His defensive skills aren’t that good. He didn’t move his head or anything. You’ve got to have some defensive skills with Canelo. He can punch, and he’s pretty slick. We’ll see what happens. I think it’s going to be a very good fight.”