Mick McCarthy admits it could be some time before fit-again Wolves winger Stephen Hunt is firing on all cylinders following a nine month lay-off.
Hunt made his comeback in mid-October after breaking his foot in January while playing for Hull.
The 29-year-old, who arrived at Molineux from the Championship club for £4million in the summer, has struggled to make an impact for Wolves to date.
But McCarthy insists that was always going to be the case for the winger after such a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
McCarthy said: "It has not quite happened for Hunty yet. Players don't just come straight back into the side and play at their best.
"It's not gone as well for him yet as it could have.
"We took a chance by signing him with a broken foot but knew he would be fine by October.
He added: "But he has still been out for nine months.
"I think you'd have to give Hunty two months to come back and be at full tilt - and that is maybe in a team which is flying.
"We are not flying but all he can do is keep going and he will be fine."
Wolves, currently second bottom of the Premier League, host in-form Sunderland on Saturday.