Middlesbrough defender Emanuel Pogatetz has declared his delight at making his return from a long-term knee injury.
The 26-year-old has been on the sidelines since the end of last season after undergoing knee surgery.
Pogatetz played for 45 minutes of Boro's 4-0 reserves win over Bradford in midweek.
Although a tight hamstring curtailed his chances of playing for 90 minutes he has declared his availability for the weekend visit of Watford.
"I really wanted to play the 90 minutes to give the manager a statement that I'm ready," he told the club's official website.
"Unfortunately I couldn't do it but the important thing is the knee was fine, I was just tight in my right hamstring.
"I'm quite pleased because that's the first time I've felt quite sharp in a game and I felt I could have played the 90 minutes easily, apart from the hamstring.
"Hopefully I'll be in contention for the first team now and we'll see in the next couple of weeks if I can be involved."
Pogatetz has been working hard in training of late following an injury scare and he has been pleased with the progress he has made.
"I'm quite pleased with the progress I've made over the last couple of weeks," he continued.
"It's very hard, fitness-wise and also your awareness, but now I've done a lot of work with the Reserves and the first team as well and I feel a lot better.
"The first team is the final step now. I'm really eager to be involved. Hopefully I'll be able to play soon."