Wilfred Bouma is desperate to play for Aston Villa again so that he can repay the club for the faith they have shown in him during his injury nightmare.
The 31-year-old has been out for nearly 12 months after he dislocated his ankle in the Intertoto Cup third round second-leg clash against Danish side OB Odense, in what was only the second game of the season.
A failed comeback in April sparked rumours that the Dutchman may have to retire but the player himself declares he has a burning ambition to pull on the claret and blue once more.
The defender has not set a date for his return but he is confident he can step up his rehabilitation when the other members of the squad return for pre-season.
"The only thing on my mind is getting back out there," he told the club's official website.
"I can't wait to put that claret and blue shirt on again.
"I want to be back playing with all the boys because Villa have been brilliant with me and I want to give them something back for the support they have shown me."
Bouma points out that he was impressed by the way his team-mates played in his absence when, but for a horrifying end to the season, fourth place seemed a realistic possibility.
"The lads did really well last season - brilliantly - and the challenge now is to repeat that or better it," he added.
"In football and in life generally, challenges are good."