Port Vale have been given a boost ahead of their FA Cup second round tie with Yeovil Town at Vale Park.
Midfielder Ben Whitfield confirmed his return for fitness and is in contention for Saturday’s game.
“I’ve been working hard behind the scenes with the physio and medical staff to get it right and we have,” he said.
“I’ve learned a few things and worked hard.”
The 21-year-old on loan from Bournemouth has scored twice for Vale this season and is looking forward to coming back after injuring his ankle ligaments.
“The lads have welcomed me and the new gaffer as well has put trust in me, when I was fit,” Whitfield said.
“The last two results haven’t gone our way but we’re looking to put it right.”
Back-to-back league defeats have halted the club’s good form, including defeating League One Oxford United in the first round of the cup, but Whitfield is confident they can step it up for the weekend.
“I was at Yeovil last year, their work rate is very good, strong side.”
“If we play like we have, we should win the game.”
The youngster is eager to play his part with the prospect of an exciting third round tie, which would be uplifting for all at the club.
“It’s massive getting a big gun, like Stoke away,” said Whitfield.
“I’ve got to speak to the gaffer to see if I’m involved but I’m ready to get back out there.”
Whitfield is on loan at the Valiants until January. Manager Neil Aspin has admitted his eagerness to keep him at the club and the player says he’s in a good place.
“I’m enjoying my football here, glad to be back.”
“It’s a big difference from U23 football, playing for the badge, this is where you make a name for yourself.”