O’Shea had been in outstanding form for the Baggies before breaking his ankle whilst playing for the Republic of Ireland in September.
After undergoing surgery, the centre-back was ruled out for between four and six months.
But reports emerged earlier this month claiming the 22-year-old could come back earlier than expected.
Ismael, though, says it’s still too early to put a date on when O’Shea will be available for selection.
But the boss has been hugely impressed with his attitude while he has been sidelined.
“Will he be available earlier, I don’t know – but it looks really good,” the boss said.
“But I’m not surprised. He has the mentality, he’s a warrior.
“You saw when he got the injury that he wanted to come back and continue playing, and his ankle was broken! Only Dara can do this.
“I know if a player can come back quickly from such a massive injury, it’s Dara.
“At the minute on a good path, but right now it’s too early to say whether he’ll come back earlier. It’s too early, but he looks really good.
“It’s impressive to see. His focus, his desire, his mentality to work three or four hours a day on his recovery, rehabilitation, to do everything we ask of him from the sports science side.
“Yes, he looks good at the minute. For 2021 he won’t come back for sure, but we will see.”
Meanwhile, Ismael has challenged his players to go on a winning running as they prepare to face Huddersfield today.
The Baggies have lost their last three games on the road.
But after facing Huddersfield today, they travel to take on Blackpool on Tuesday.
“As West Brom you need to win,” the Frenchman said.
“It’s important to get the confidence back.
“The good thing is that we can explain why we lost the last games.
“But it’s clear now we need to win consistency and start a run – and we want to start that at Huddersfield.”