Wilfred Bouma is closing in on a first-team return at Aston Villa after 14 months on the sidelines.
The Holland international has been out of action since damaging his ankle during an Intertoto Cup clash in July 2008.
Bouma sustained the horrific injury just minutes into the meeting with Danish side Odense.
The full-back did not appear at all throughout the remainder of the 2008/09 campaign as a result, and missed Villa's entire pre-season campaign this time around.
He has, however, resumed full training and has now set his sights on forcing his way back into Martin O'Neill's plans.
"The discomfort is as good as gone and I just have to work really hard at my fitness," he said.
Bouma has also thanked the Villa supporters for helping him through his injury nightmare.
"The fans haven't forgotten me and that really helped me through the bad times," he added.