Warren Joyce has reported slow progress on the situation with Ravel Morrison, and his attempts to win a contract with Wigan Athletic.
The 23-year-old ex-Manchester United junior, currently with Italian giants Lazio but looking for a return to the UK, has been training with Latics behind the scenes at Euxton for almost a month.
Having hardly kicked a ball since moving to Italy two years ago, he is obviously way short of match fitness and sharpness.
And the Latics boss, who worked with Morrison at reserve-grade level at United, admits he has some way to go before he proves he can be an asset between now and the end of the season.
“He’s still training at the minute, and we’re still assessing his fitness to see how quickly or how slowly he’ll be,” revealed Joyce.
“That’s an ongoing situation. There’s a lot of things with that one...it’s a complicated one anyway.
“We’ll just keep working him and keep seeing him.
“But he’s certainly a way away from where he was the last time I coached him.”
With Latics due to travel to Old Trafford next weekend in the FA Cup fourth round, the script would appear to be written for Morrison to make a sensational return to English football on the biggest stage.
Joyce, though insists that’s a non-starter.
“I think that one will come way too soon whatever happens,” he added.
Joyce also poured cold water on reports in the national media linking Latics with a seven-figure bid for Derby winger Johnny Russell.
With a smile on his face, Joyce said: “I wouldn’t have thought he’d be on our radar to be fair.”