Jason Koumas was last night "enthusiastic and encouraged" after a meeting with Bryan Robson that revived their working relationship and provided West Bromwich Albion with a significant boost.
Koumas, the Albion midfield player, had not spoken to the club's manager for more than a year and it appeared that their relationship was irreparable.
Koumas spent the 2005-06 campaign on loan with Cardiff City but the Welsh club could not afford to sign him on a permanent basis, partly because Albion wanted £2 million and partly because the player's wages were prohibitive.
However, there were mutual benefits for ending the disagreement.
Koumas needs regular first-team football, or at least the prospect of regular training, to maintain his international credentials with Wales. And Albion now have the services of a talented player who is earning about £12,000 a week.
Not all Albion supporters will welcome Koumas back to the club - he has been seen as disloyal and disruptive - but the player could be in contention for a first-team place by the end of the month.
A source close to the player said last night: "Jason is happy that everything is sorted with West Brom. He is only interested in the future. He just wants to get on with his football, fight for a first-team place, and do his best.
"He thinks the time has come for him to do his talking on the football pitch, which is the best place, and hopefully this will now allow him to do that."
Koumas joined Albion for £2.25 million in 2002, during the Gary Megson era, and, for a time, he produced a style of football not seen at the club for a generation.
Robson replaced Megson in November 2004 and Koumas played six matches under the new manager. But a parting seemed inevitable, with Cardiff the likely destination for Koumas. He refused to train with Albion and was consistently fined by his employers.
He was faced with two options: return to The Hawthorns or face the prospect of not playing at all. Wisely, he chose the former.
Koumas is unlikely to be fit enough for Albion's Carling Cup match away to Leyton Orient on Thursday night but he could travel down to London with the squad as a personal statement of intent.
Luke Steele and Paul McShane, the new signings from Manchester United, are likely to play.
Ronnie Wallwork, who scored Albion's winner in their 2-1 home victory against Colchester United last Saturday, has signed a new two-year contract with the club. His next match will be his 100th for Albion.
"I'm delighted to have signed a new two-year deal," Wallwork said. "It's a great club and the fans are brilliant. Hopefully, we can kick on and get back into the Premiership.
"I was delighted to get the goal on Saturday. Hopefully, I can get a few more now. It's not a bad start for us.
"Three points on Saturday was good and it's just a shame about the second-half performance. We could have been a lot better and finished them off with more goals."
* Stuart Nicholson, Chris Humphrey and Rob Elvins were on target to fire Albion reserves to a deserved 3-1 win against Huddersfield Town in their opening home Pontins Holiday League Division One (Central) fixture last night.
Less than a minute had elapsed when Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto found Jared Hodgkiss with a neat crossfield pass and Nicholson finished with aplomb.
Though Alex Hallam equalised on 32 minutes, Craig Shakespeare's men regained the lead a minute after the interval when Humphrey netted from a pass by Ibrahim Sissoko.
Albion keeper Luke Steele rescued his side almost immediately to keep out John McAliskey's spot-kick but Elvins made it 3-1 in the 57th minute.