Walsall FC are pleased to confirm the signing of Ben Purkiss, initially on non-contract terms.
The 34 year-old links up with the Saddlers as he steps up his rehabilitation from a neck injury that has sidelined him since the summer.
While he continues his rehabilitation, the experienced defender will assist in opposition analysis and provide support for the younger players at the club.
“It’s good to have Ben on board,” explained manager Dean Keates.
“He has a wealth of experience and is highly regarded at the club – staff and supporters – from his first spell with us.
“He’s struggled a little with injury since leaving Swindon at the end of last season. He will continue his rehabilitation with us and also undertake scouting duties and we will see how things evolve over the season.
"He has made over 400 senior appearances and is Chairman of the PFA, so he’s an asset with a great affinity to the club.”
Purkiss started his career at Sheffield United before moving to Gainsborough Trinity in 2003.
After four years, he signed for York City before enjoying brief spells at Oxford United and Hereford.
He joined the Saddlers in 2012 and made 73 appearances in three seasons before joining Port Vale in 2015.
Purkiss spent last season with Swindon Town, making 45 appearances.
“I’m delighted to be back,” he added. “Walsall are a club close to my heart and I’m grateful of the opportunity they have afforded me.
"While I’m not putting a timescale on my return, I’m hopeful of recovering from my neck injury and believe I still have a role to play at the club, both on and off the field.”