Stoke boss Tony Pulis is relishing the return of injured Ricardo Fuller, saying he has a big part to play in his plans.
The much-travelled Jamaican ace, who has been with the Potters since 2006, has been sidelined since April after undergoing successful surgery on an Achilles injury.
But Pulis showed his faith in the 31-year-old by naming him - as well as fellow long-term injury victims Danny Higginbotham and Mamady Sidibe - in his 25-man squad for the first half of the Premier League season.
And while the Stoke boss cannot wait to see the big striker back on the pitch again, he accepts it will be in Fuller's own timeframe.
Pulis told The Sentinel: "Not just Ric, but also Mama Sidibe, they both have a part to play for us in the future when they get themselves fit.
"That's why I named them and Danny Higginbotham in our Premier League squad, even though they're still injured at the moment. That shows how much I respect all three.
"As far as Ric is concerned, he's not just one of the best strikers in our club. I still maintain that once he's fit again, he's still one of the best strikers in the Premier League on his day.
"Whether he's starting a game or coming off the bench, he can do something that's a bit special, something very few players can do, to change a game."
Fuller is currently restricted to individual work with the physios ahead of a possible autumn return.
Pulis added: "He's fine, but Ric is Ric and not really like any other player.
"He will do it in his own time. But when he does, he's still got a lot to offer."