Conor McAleny is back from injury and in contention for Fleetwood Town’s home clash with Rochdale tomorro.
But head coach Uwe Rosler stressed the need for realism and said the striker will need time to hit top form.
McAleny made a blistering start to his Town career, netting both goals in the opening- day win over Rotherham.
But he injured an ankle at Northampton a week later and has played only 45 minutes since, at Portsmouth last month. Now the summer signing from Everton is back but Rosler said: “I think we need to be realistic.
“Conor had a very good pre-season and I think that was one of the main reasons why he had such a very impressive start to the season against Rotherham. What happened is very unfortunate and Conor is not in the same form as he left us.
“That does not mean he is not available to start but he needs to catch up. That is always (the case) when you have been out with injury.
“It does not matter how much you work one-on-one with the fitness coach or how much extra running and extra gym work (you do) – in the end you have to catch up the rest.
“Conor is very keen to catch up. He has done everything we ask him to do.
“He has been a really good professional and put a lot of extra time into his recovery, but we need to give him time.
“We cannot expect Conor to be on the same level as against Northampton. He will reach that level again. We hope it will be very soon and we need to help him reach that level with playing time.
“How much playing time he will get against Rochdale I don’t know at the moment.”
Town’s front two Jordy Hiwula and Devante Cole are in a rich vein of form and have scored 11 League One goals between them.
Rosler says he is pleased with their partnership, one he first saw blossom when he coached the duo in the youth ranks at Manchester City, though McAleny’s return could signal a switch to three up front.
He added: “That is why I worked really hard to get Jordy here – because I know he and Devante had played together. I know both of them and I think they can play both in a (front) two or in a three together.
“We already knew that the more game-time Jordy gets the better his goal average will be.
“In the Bradford game and the Plymouth game particularly I was very happy with their partnership.
“Conor trained Tuesday on grass and I think now we will have very good competition. That also gives us a chance to get back to playing three strikers.”