Stoke manager Tony Pulis has revealed that Ricardo Fuller is almost ready to come back from a knee injury.
The Jamaican striker damaged ligaments playing for his country earlier in the summer and it was initially feared that he could miss the start of the Premier League season.
However, he underwent surgery in June and could now return to action in Stoke's friendly against Osasuna on Friday.
"He might play a part on Friday, although it will only be a little part," Pulis told The Sentinel.
"It's been well documented that we've had to go steady with Ric throughout pre-season and that's been very frustrating for him and the rest of us.
"He's back at base this week while we're down on the South Coast because I wanted him undergoing special one-to-one work with the fitness coach.
"We'll take a look at things when we get back and see if we can't slip him in on Friday."
The Potters take on Southampton on Tuesday night and Pulis is hoping to have Liam Lawrence back from a slight thigh muscle strain.
"Liam has come down with us, and should be all right to play some part tonight, even if we keep him on the bench to begin with," said Pulis.
He added: "Southampton murdered West Ham the other day, by all accounts, and so we can expect just the kind of stiff test we need tonight in our penultimate friendly."