One summer signing could make his debut at Stoke tomorrow, but another has had a setback and will be out for a while longer.

Midfielder Tom Ince could be in line for his first appearance in a Watford shirt after joining from Reading but Jamal Lewis, who is on loan from Newcastle, will miss the trip to Stoke tomorrow.

“Tom is in good shape,” said head coach Valerien Ismael.

“He trained fully this week, and we still have a training session this afternoon. So far he will be available for the game tomorrow.

“Jamal has had a setback with his calf. We have to be patient with him.

“We cannot afford to rush, especially with the issue he has. It was not the expectation we had last week but it is what it is.

“The important thing is that the player gets the confidence back in his body, in what is a sensitive area. Then we can go from there.

“It’s nothing major, we are talking weeks. It’s not a big injury. He could be back next week, or he might need another week.

“In three weeks we have the international break, and we will have a friendly game in that time.

“It’s more the case now that when he comes back he has to be 100% because he needs the training with consistency with the rest of the team.

“We spoke with the medical department and said I want him back when he is 100%.”

Defender Jeremy Ngakia missed last week’s draw with Plymouth at Vicarage Road, and his involvement tomorrow is still in the balance.

“Jeremy is still fighting with his ankle from the injury he got at Stevenage. He trained yesterday with the team and we will see how he goes today,” Ismael explained.

“We need to have players at 100%. We are not in a situation where we need to take any risks. It’s early in the season and we will assess the injury after training today (Friday).”

The only doubt surrounds Francisco Sierralta, with Ismael saying: “He was a little bit injured with his quad in the week, and again we will assess the situation for the game tomorrow.”

One summer signing who hasn’t had a taste of league action so far is striker Rhys Healey.

“Rhys had a difficult pre-season after last year when he had an ACL injury, and everyone knows it is difficult to come back to your levels straight away,” said Ismael.

“With Rhys it is the case that he needs more confidence in himself and in his knee, so he can get back to where he is able to be.

“He has trained with consistency but I feel he can do more. We don’t want to put him under pressure, we know his history and we knew this before the transfer.

“It’s just the case he needs that feeling that he is 100% and he has full confidence in his body. At the moment we are working on that.”

In all the talk of needing a new No.9 there has been no mention of Healey, who was a prolific goalscorer in France.

“He is another type of No.9 for sure, but he will give us more flexibility in our shape,” said Ismael.

“He is a goalscorer: he scored a lot of goals in France. That shows his quality.

“Now it’s just a case of getting back his confidence so he can trust his body again. We need to be patient.”

One of the survivors of the summer player clear-out was Samuel Kalu, but the winger has not made the bench so far.

“Samuel was with us all pre-season. At the minute he was sick, but in the last week he has trained,” said Ismael.