Gareth Bale will “probably” make his second debut for Tottenham against West Ham on Sunday, says Jose Mourinho.
Bale, 31, has been continuing his recovery from a knee injury since re-joining Spurs on loan from Real Madrid in September.
The Wales international has been involved in full training for the last two weeks, and Spurs manager Mourinho said he is in “good condition”.
“Probably he plays Sunday, if he doesn’t he will on Thursday,” he said.
“He is very, very close.”
Tottenham face Austrian club LASK in their opening Europa League Group J match on Thursday.
Mourinho added: “Of course he wants to play. He’s wanted to play since the day he arrived but it wasn’t possible. I’m not going to tell you if he’s going to play or not.
“What I will tell you is that he’s working very well. He’s working the way he probably hasn’t been able to do for some time.
“The planning of the recent sessions had a big focus on him. His condition is good.
“Does he play Sunday or Thursday? We haven’t made a decision yet. Every player is a very important player but the Gareth situation is very special because of the history. We care about him as much as he does for Tottenham.”
Mourinho added that the club were “happy” to see Bale smiling and laughing in training after he had become a marginal figure in Spain.
“It was great to hear from Sergio Reguilon, who was in the dressing room with him in Madrid, that Gareth looks a different guy,” he said.
“If he can go home and share that happiness with his family, that’s great.”
Mourinho also confirmed that striker Harry Kane is available for Sunday after returning from international duty with England, but Eric Dier is a doubt after picking up an injury.
Giovani lo Celso and Japhet Tanganga are also sidelined with injuries.