Port Vale skipper Marc Richards has spoken of his delight at returning to action sooner than expected.
The talismanic striker, Vale's leading scorer this season with 10 league goals, has missed the last six weeks with a thigh injury picked up in the win over Burton at the start of January.
Richards had targeted Friday's home clash against Bradford for his return but he was included on the bench for Saturday's 1-1 draw against Northampton and enjoyed the closing stages following his 78th-minute introduction.
"I was desperate to be involved in the game," he told the club's official website. "I had trained for three days and my thigh felt okay so I thought there was no reason for me not to be involved.
"I feel good, my thigh seems to have held out and I am pleased to get some minutes under my belt, hopefully I will get a few more in the game against Bradford on Friday. We had pencilled in the Bradford game as my return and I am back before my target so I am delighted."
Elsewhere, Vale's board of directors will hold talks with businessman Mo Chaudry this week to discuss his takeover bid after the two parties finally signed a confidentiality agreement.