New Stoke signing Brek Shea may have to wait several weeks before he gets the chance to make an impact at the Britannia Stadium, while he awaits a work permit.
The £2.5 million transfer deadline day buy from FC Dallas is ineligible for Saturday's trip to Arsenal because he has not completed all the necessary paperwork required for his permit.
Shea, 22, needs to return to the United States in the near future to finalise the details, and even once he has been cleared to play by the Football Association, Stoke assistant manager Dave Kemp feels it could be several weeks before he can be considered for first-team action.
The United States international has signed a four-and-a-half year deal at the Britannia, but has not played a competitive game since undergoing foot surgery last year.
"Brek has been injured for three months, so we can't expect too much at the present moment, truth be told," Kemp said. "He trained yesterday, and he appeared to be ok, but we will need the fitness guys to take a further look at him over the coming days and weeks. He needs to be assessed properly, before we can have any idea of how long it will be before he comes into consideration."
Kemp added: "He wouldn't be available to us at the moment anyway because he needs to return back to the United States to complete his work permit, and get his passport stamped. I'm not sure how long that process will take, but it is the same thing that Geoff Cameron had to go through too. Hopefully it won't be too long."
Kemp has also revealed that Marc Wilson could be back in contention in the next couple of weeks as he continues his rehabilitation from a broken leg. Stoke are hopeful that the Ireland international will be able to play a reserve team game next week.
"Hopefully we can fit in a reserve team game next week for him, if we feel that it is the right thing for him at that point," Kemp said. "It's important not to rush him though, because we don't want to get him back and then lose him again. It's important to get it right, because he is a big player for us."