Adelaide United will unleash striker Shengqing Qu on the Mariners in Saturday's A-League Pre-Season Cup final.
After much of the winter passed without Qu appearing likely to return to Australia, a late deal was signed with United.
The Chinese international subsequently delighted coaching staff by arriving in better physical shape than many of the players who had slogged through pre-season training.
All that remains now is for Qu's clearance fax to arrive, an event the club is sweating on, perhaps aware that it might need some extra attacking options in order to get past the doughty Mariners.
"If his clearance has come through then he'll definitely be in the squad," acting Adelaide coach Aurelio Vidmar said.
Qu's emergence as a possible contributor is in contrast to the fortunes of fellow imports Fernando Rech and Bobby Petta, neither of whom could be considered as they are still working towards optimum fitness.
Vidmar sympathised with Petta, who had to interrupt his training pattern in order to complete the move from England to Australia.
"He's still a few weeks away, as is Fernando, they need another couple of weeks of aerobic work," he said.
"Bobby went away just to clean up a few things in England, and although we gave him a program to do it's very difficult, most of us have been in that situation when you're moving house it's difficult to do a lot of fitness work. He's a little bit behind but I'm sure in a couple of weeks he'll be right to go."
Though pleased to have Socceroos Travis Dodd and Michael Valkanis back for the game against the Mariners, Vidmar expressed some concern that the pair might be fatigued from their exertions against Kuwait.
"They'll be on a high no doubt, hopefully they're not too fatigued, it's always tough when you're playing an international and the Kuwaitis gave them a big run for a long time," he said on Thursday.
"Travis took time to get into the game but in the second half he really showed what he can produce and what he produced in the second half of last season."
"Michael is Mr Consistent for me, he was magnificent last year, last night and you know exactly what you're going to get from him."