Northampton Town have given midfielder Kevin Thornton a month-by-month contract, after he returned to pre-season training fully fit.
The 24-year-old was one of only five players offered a new contract, albeit with the condition about his fitness.
Boss Gary Johnson told BBC Radio Northampton: "We wanted to look after his interests and he has come back fit.
"He's too good a footballer [to release] and he's probably playing lower than he should, ability-wise."
Thornton, who counts Brighton & Hove Albion, Coventry City and Nuneaton Town among his former clubs, joined the Cobblers in December 2009 on a non contract deal and signed a one-year extension in May 2010.
He will be competing with Paul Turnbull, Arron Davies, Ben Tozer, Nathaniel Wedderburn and Ryan Gilligan for a central midfield place next season.