Iain Hume remains one of the most sought-after foreigners in the Indian Super League (ISL). But the Canadian striker has been out of action since last February due to knee injury. And now, as the fifth edition of the tournament is about to kick off, FC Pune City head coach, Miguel Portugal, says that Hume could be available only in January.

“I think in December it is possible that he (Hume) can play. That is my opinion. He is now working very hard on fitness. I think by end November or December, he might be okay,” Portugal said at the ISL Media Day on Monday.

Contracted by FC Pune City in August this year, Hume is the highest goal-scorer in the history of the ISL. He had previously plied his trade in the tournament with Kerala Blasters FC and ATK, scoring 28 goals in four seasons.

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While the coach hopes that Hume will be available from December, for that he will have to be registered by the franchise.  Sportstar  has learnt that as of now, Hume is only contracted by the franchise and is not registered for the league. He will only be registered once he is fit to play, and the chances are high that he will be registered when the window opens in January.

The coach, however, did not divulge what would Hume bring to the table once he is fit. “I don’t know now, and we decide in December. Now it is impossible to decide,” Hume stated.

Talking to  Sportstar  last week, the 34-year-old had mentioned that he is eager to boot up soon. “The rehab is going really well and I haven’t started my ball work much, but I'm focusing on my recovery more. I haven’t set a timeline of recovery yet, but the club's physio team is working hard with me so that I can bounce back soon,” he had said.

Last season, Pune City FC was ousted in the semifinal by Bengaluru FC. And this time, Pune starts its campaign against Delhi Dynamos on October 3 in New Delhi.