The 34-year-old was expected to be out for at least another week after damaging his hamstring against Southampton on January 20. But he has responded well to treatment since then and returned to action for the reserves on Tuesday night.
Ferdinand looked sharp against Wimbledon at St Albans and capped his 20-minute return with a last-minute strike to seal a 3-0 victory.
He revealed: "I was told initially four to six weeks when they first saw the scans and even then the doctor said he thought they were being a bit hopeful and that it might be longer than that.
"It’s responded well to treatment, I had a scan on Tuesday and it was looking good so the first thing I wanted to do was get 20, 25 minutes under my belt. It felt good and to nick a goal was nice as well."
Now he has his sights set on the huge FA Cup tie against Stockport County on Saturday and with loanee striker Andy Booth Cup-tied, he may well play a part at the Lane.
It will give Ferdinand the chance to contribute to what he admits is his last wish in football — to reach the FA Cup Final.
He added: "We have a big game on Saturday, everyone is up for it, all the players are looking forward to it and hopefully we can continue our run.
"I’d love to get to the final. When we went 2-0 down at Charlton I thought it was all over for another year — you couldn’t help but think that way, especially with our record away from home. But is was a great turn around and showed that we had great fighting spirit."
As for Stockport, he warned: "Every round is a bigger game for them. It is more like a Cup final to them at this stage and we’ll be expecting a tough game. They won’t be coming here to lie down."
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By Paul Miles
Les Ferdinand is back ahead of schedule — ready to chase his FA Cup dream.