Jose Miguel Cubero has returned to training with Blackpool after arriving back on the Fylde coast.
The midfielder returned to his native Costa Rica last month for an operation to remove a pin from his foot after persistent problems which have restricted him to only two appearances so far this season.
But the 27-year-old is now back on the Fylde and is believed to be around three weeks from full fitness.
Cubero’s Pool career is yet to get going after work permit problems prevented him playing until the end of September.
After making his debut against Norwich, he was injured at Middlesbrough four days later.
The World Cup star has not trained since Lee Clark took charge and the Pool manager is keen to welcome him back.
“Jose is back now,” revealed Clark. “He’s had a little bit of surgery to take out a pin on a previous injury.
“There’s been minimum trauma to his foot. Jose is more settled in his own mind now that has been done.
“Hopefully he’ll come back pain-free as he’s a talented footballer who we believe can play a big part for us.
“The quicker we get him back the better for everyone.
“He saw his own specialist back in Costa Rica, which was important for his own peace of mind.”
Cubero undertook fitness sessions yesterday alongside Tom Barkhuizen, who broke his arm in the behind-closed- doors game at Sunderland last week.
Scans have revealed the injury isn’t as bad as first thought, and it’s hoped the winger will be fit to return by the end of the month.
Boss Clark added: “Tom’s injury is very unfortunate as he was impressing us.
“It was in the first minute of last week’s game at Sunderland, and in a tackle where he was probably too brave for his own good.
“It was one of those where he knew the tackle was coming, but I think it was when the player landed on top of him that it actually broke.
“We’ve had some good news that it will only be three or four weeks before he’s available.
“With the cast he has on, he can do all the fitness work, so he’ll probably be in better shape.
“We are looking forward to having him back as he was making quite an impression on us.”