The Clarets striker has been sidelined for the second successive season after suffering knee cartilage injury at Bury in August.
Danny Ings has been given the green light to return to the training ground after his latest injury setback.
"He is not back yet, but we did fear losing him for six, seven or eight months at first.
"Now he has got that it's great news for us. Things are going really well in his rehab so far, so we are really pleased.
The Clarets boss said: "Danny has felt really good since the operation. He has felt strong enough to start running but had to wait for the surgeon's ok.
But Howe insists the former Bournemouth hitman, who scored three times at the tail end of last season on his return to the side, could again be back in action soon. "When you have suffered one serious long-term injury the last thing you need is another and I think Danny feared the worst, having been through last season.
"Hopefully it doesn't look like that will be the case and Danny will be back in a short period of time.
"Hopefully they will play some part in the next week, but we are not sure as yet."
Howe revealed: "They are both still quite sore and we will have to leave it until the last minute to see if they are fit.
Skipper Jason Shackell and winger Junior Stanislas both missed the Capital One Cup defeat at Swindon in midweek.
In the short-term, Howe still has injury concerns ahead of Millwall visit to Turf Moor this weekend.
"He is that type of character, but in a similar vein to Martin Paterson we want him back long term and playing every week, so we have to manage it correctly."
"He is feeling really good at the moment and done everything he can to come back quicker.