Bolton boss Owen Coyle is delighted to have Stuart Holden edging his way towards a first-team recall following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The United States international has been out of action since damaging his knee in a Premier League clash with Manchester United in March.
He has, however, stepped up his recovery in recent weeks and has taken in two reserve run-outs.
The second of those came on Wednesday night, as he completed 65 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Rochdale.
Coyle and USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann were on hand to check on the 26-year-old's fitness and believes it will not be long before he is knocking on the first-team door.
"It's great to have him back," Coyle said.
"I think he has probably been getting a little bit frustrated because he thinks he can click his fingers after being out for six months and get back at the level he was at.
"It takes time to build up that fitness and your decision-making in a game, but it was great to see him running about with a Bolton Wanderers shirt on, albeit in a reserve game.
"It will be a tremendous boost when we get him back, and for Jurgen Klinsmann to make that trip when it was pouring down and to stay all night to watch the game is all credit to him.
"He showed his class, and there is no doubt that Stuart will reward him when he is fully fit with big performances for the national team."
Klinsmann was encouraged by Holden's performance in midweek, but insists he will not be rushing the midfielder back into the international fold ahead of schedule.
He told Bolton's official website: "He's getting closer and closer, but I'm not looking to get him in the United States squad as soon as possible.
"He's certainly in my plans, but I'm sure I'm one of many who don't want to rush him back.
"He's a very good character, has a professional attitude and constantly wants to improve his game.
"That's exactly the type of player the national team wants. We're building a young team in the United States and he definitely fits into that.
"People in the United States have noticed his ability, and now hopefully he can continue to step it up a bit at a time and surpass the levels he was at prior to his injury."