Newport Gwent Dragons coach Darren Edwards says that Wales flanker could still win a place on the British and Irish Lions tour by playing in next year's Six Nations.
Lydiate's Six Nations was thought to be over after he broke his ankle playing for the Dragons last weekend against Edinburgh and had to have surgery on the ankle.
However the 24-year-old's coach says that his recovery may not take as long as first expected and he could still make the end of the Six Nations and prove his fitness for the Lions tour.
"The length of his lay-off could be a bit shorter than first expected, which is good news for us all," Edwards told Wales Online.
"We are looking at him being back somewhere around the end of February, early March.
"It will depend on how his rehabilitation goes but that does give him a chance of playing some part this season.
"I feared the worst at the time. But now he's had his surgery, there's more positive news for us.
"The good thing was that none of his ligaments were torn. That would have been a big problem if that happened. Now it's just about bone healing.
"The key decision will be whether the plate is left in or taken out. If the plate is left in, it could even be sooner."
Lydiate was considered as a strong candidate for a place in next year's British and Irish Lions squad for the tour of Australia but was immediately ruled out of Wales' four autumn Tests starting against Argentina in Cardiff on November 10.
But the farmer's son has previously recovered from a broken neck and Edwards said that would hold him in good stead in his push for making a comeback in the Six Nations.
"The way he has recovered from injuries in the past has to be a source of encouragement," Edwards said.
"He has defied a lot of serious injuries, so there is no doubt about his mental attitude or professionalism. He has demonstrated that before and we are confident he will make a full recovery."