Ben Whitfield has returned to training this week and he is in contention for a place in the squad as Vale host Yeovil Town in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round this weekend.
During the victory away at Exeter City back in October, the midfielder suffered ligament damage in his ankle and that has led to six weeks on the sidelines.
After arriving on loan from Bournemouth in the summer, the 21-year-old has become a fans’ favourite at Vale Park and he can’t wait to be back out there playing football.
“I feel good and I trained today. I’ve been running this week and it feels all right,” said Whitfield, speaking on Thursday afternoon.
“The last few weeks have been very frustrating. I’ve been working hard behind the scenes with the medical staff, trying to get it right and I’ve done that now.
“Everything happens for a reason, but it’s my first injury and I’ve had to learn a few things to get through it.”
As with every player who has suffered an injury at the club so far this season, Whitfield has received medical support from Ben Nixon and the rest of the physiotherapists.
Now feeling strong and ready to return to action, he admits that he owes a lot to the medical team who have enabled him to make a swift recovery.
He said: “They’ve been very good with me and Ben has been working hard with me.
“We’ve had to go to London and a few different places for my ankle and it’s done well.”
On his potential return to action this Saturday, Whitfield added: “I’ve got to speak to the gaffer and the medical staff after this to see what he wants to do, whether or not I’ll be involved.
“It’s down to the manager, but hopefully I’m there for availability. We’ll see where we are with things and go from there.”