Mick McCarthy has told winger Michael Kightly that he has until the end of January to prove he can be a part of Wolves' plans this season after undergoing successful knee surgery.
Kightly's last appearance was against Birmingham at Molineux in November 2009, since which time he initially suffered an ankle setback and then encountered patella tendon problems.
The 24-year-old was not included in Wolves' 25-man squad named at the start of the season and he has three months to convince McCarthy he should be included for the second part of the campaign.
McCarthy said: "Kights has had his operation and is very positive about it.
"It was on one of his knees and he goes back to see the surgeon in six weeks' time.
"He's only had keyhole surgery which is not as intrusive. He's not out for the season, not at all, but he'll have to be fit for 31st January to get into the squad for us."
McCarthy added: "There's always the opportunity to go on loan somewhere else after that but I want him playing for me because he's a very good player."