Jose Mourinho has dropped a hint that Gareth Bale could make his second Tottenham debut against West Ham on Sunday.
The Welsh-winger has yet to make an appearance since his return to the club on loan, after suffering a knee injury over the summer.
Bale has been working hard on his fitness over the past month at Tottenham’s training ground and he is now on the verge of making his first appearance for the club since he left in 2013.
Mourinho refused to rule out handing Bale his second debut, when speaking about his team selection for Sunday’s London derby.
He told Sky Sports: ‘The team is the most important thing and Gareth is here to help the team, but at the same time we care about about him.
‘So the decision we are going make is going to be for the good of the team, but also for his own good.
‘It is very important he has a happy season with us and I think at this moment of his career that is very important.’
Tottenham fans are long awaiting the second coming of Bale at their club, after he left to join Real Madrid for a then world record £85.3m deal in 2013.
Bale is back at the club on a season-long loan from the reigning Spanish champions, after a tumultuous time in Madrid, where he has struggled to get game-time under manager Zinedine Zidane.
Mourinho is hoping that Bale will be able to form a formidable front three also consisting Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min.
Tottenham are arriving into Sunday’s clash in positive spirit after a recent good run of form, including their 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Mourinho said: ‘It’s a big match on Sunday against a team that is playing well, is getting very good results and is a London derby too.
‘So let’s forget what we did well in the past couple of weeks where we got good results and a new period begins Sunday.’