STOKE City have vowed to do their best by Peter Odemwingie as he battles to save his Premier League career over the next month.
Odemwingie will be 34 in July and hasn’t played since rupturing a cruciate knee ligament last August.
But he returned to first-team training last week without any ill-effects and could yet feature with five games still to play this season.
And now chairman Peter Coates, who sanctioned the signing of Rory Delap in 2007 after he had broken his leg while on loan with Stoke, insists the club will do everything reasonably possible to accommodate Odemwingie.
He said: “We hope to have him back playing as well as he was before his injury.
“I’ve had some encouraging reports about him from the training ground and I am certainly optimistic for him.
“He will be an asset for us if we get him back playing for Stoke City, and that is certainly the intention.
“These things take time, patience and a lot of effort, but we will do all that we can as a club for the best possible outcome for all concerned.”
Odemwingie played a key role in kick-starting Stoke’s 2013/14 campaign after arriving from Cardiff in January of last year as part of a swap deal also involving Kenwyne Jones.
He later represented Nigeria at the last summer’s World Cup, but suffered a major setback when sustaining his long-term injury at Manchester City on August 30.
Odemwingie is likely to remain a bystander on Saturday when Stoke play a Sunderland side fighting for their Premier League future at the Britannia Stadium.