The Swedish striker has been out injured since April after having suffered a serious knee problem and requiring surgery to correct the issue.
The veteran forward has returned to training at Manchester United’s Carrington complex but he is still some way away from making his return to the first team at Old Trafford.
Jose Mourinho recently said that he was hoping to have Ibrahimovic back available for selection in the new year.
And the striker has now hinted that he could be back sooner than that if his recovery continues to go well.
Speaking to MUTV, Ibrahimovic said: “I don’t want to make these five, six months look unimportant by rushing now, I take it day by day and when I’m ready I’ll be ready.
“Let’s see if it’s before the New Year or not – I’m following my schedule and doing exactly what I’m able to do, and I’m very excited because I’m feeling like I’m getting closer and closer.
“So the aim is, like I said, to finish what I started. Just for me to come back and have the smell of the grass, feel the heat, feel the atmosphere.
“That for me will be the trigger point where I will switch on and be the lion that I am.”
Manchester United are currently preparing to take on Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime as they look to get back to winning ways in the top flight.
The Red Devils head into the game on the back of their shock 2-1 loss to Huddersfield Town last weekend.
Manchester United are currently second in the Premier League and five points behind leaders Manchester City after nine games of the new campaign.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news