Iceland striker Eidur Gudjohnsen is closer to challenging for a full first-team debut after coming through the entire 90 minutes of Stoke City's reserve team clash with Walsall.
The 32-year-old former Spurs and Chelsea forward has featured once as a substitute for the Potters since his arrival on loan from Monaco, but accepts that he has had to play catch-up in the fitness stakes.
Gudjohnsen told the club's official website:"This was a big step for me, getting through the 90 minutes.
"I felt much better than when I played for the first 45 minutes of the last reserve match and I believe that I am getting much, much closer now.
"It has not been an ideal situation. I would have preferred to have done a full pre-season with the rest of the lads and then been ready from the word go.
"But playing catch-up was something I anticipated and something I needed to. Going through it hasn't been pleasant, but I knew that it had to be done.
"Once I am ready, I will play a big part in Stoke's season and I will give the supporters something to shout about."