Swansea Citys Wilfried Bony is set to end a nine-month recovery from serious knee injury after being declared fit.
Bony, 29, has not played since damaging knee ligaments in a Premier League defeat by Leicester in February.
“Its a big boost – it was a big injury and its taken time but hes worked hard, hes back in the group and we can see his qualities,” said Potter.
The £12m forward had been linked with a summer exit following Swanseas relegation from the top flight.
Former Manchester City frontman Bony – in his second spell at Swansea – had been tipped to be among those with the club prepared to listen to offers for.
Yet the Ivorian has remained in South Wales with Potter full of praise for his attitude during rehab, hopeful he can make an impact as they look to mount a promotion bid.
Bolton Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson has admitted this week that, like Swansea City, his side are facing problems converting shots into goals as they aim to end a poor run of form at home against Graham Potter’s side at 3 pm on Saturday.
Bony scored 34 goals in 70 appearances after first arriving in 2013, prompting a £25m move to Manchester City in January 2015 before returning in August 2017 and scoring three times in 18 games before injury.
“He has had a frustrating period of time and he wants to be out there and help the team,” said Potter, who added winger Jefferson Montero is also close to a return from a recent thigh injury.
“He thinks a lot about the club and had a big feeling for it. Relegation was not something he would have wanted and he wants to contribute and help us win football matches and eventually get us back to where he would probably see us.”
Out of contract in the summer, it has not been ruled out Bony could leave in January once he proves his fitness, but Potter says his focus is only on getting the player back “enjoying his football again”.
He added: “Who knows what happens then. I would like him to feel he is part of something and helping the team. Youre aware you have to keep players spinning but we will see what happens.”
Potter added that Connor Roberts could add to the good news at the Liberty Stadium with the Wales international close to a new contract. The 23-year-olds current deal is set to expire at the end of the campaign.
Potter described the news of contacts for Jay Fulton, 24, and 23-year-old Matt Grimes as good for “stability now and in the future” with the manager hopeful of confirming a fresh deal for Wales defender Roberts.
“As far as I know it is going well – ongoing and not too far away,” he said. “I know theres been progress and hopefully soon we can announce something.
“You dont really want to discuss too much publicly as some happen quickly and some not, its just part of the process. Im not worried too much about it, Connor is happy here.
“Hes enjoying his football here and sees his future here and we can help him. Its just a case of making sure everything is right for both parties.”
Swansea boss Graham Potter is set to be handed a major injury boost with the return of Wilfried Bony this weekend for their game against Bolton Wanderers.
The Ivorian international has been out of action since February after rupturing a cruciate ligament against Leicester City, and has struggled on his recovery from the injury.
Bony will be keen to rediscover the form that made him such a success at Swansea in his first spell with the club, and he will look to find his scoring boots that have gone somewhat ‘missing’ in recent seasons.
But should Bony be reinstated to Graham Potter’s starting XI for this weekend’s game against Phil Parkinson’s Bolton side?
Graham Potter only really uses one up top and you have to start with Oli McBurnie who has been in great form this season.
As well as that, Bony is returning from an awful injury and needs to be eased back into the team. It could take several weeks before he is ready to start.
Oli McBurnie is firing and it could hinder the morale in Swansea’s squad if Bony walks back in ahead of the Scot.
Oli McBurnie is doing well leading the line and considering Wilfried Bony has just recovered from an injury, he would be better suited to coming off the bench.
With this being the last fixture before the international break, I can’t see it being worth the risk to start him this weekend.
Bony has been far from his best for a while now and interrupting McBurnie’s fine form would be a terrible mistake from Graham Potter.
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Editorial Assistant at Snack Media, writing for Football League World on a regular basis! Sports Journalism graduate from Southampton Solent University.