Middlesbrough star Matthew Bates has declared himself ready for the new season.
The 23-year-old has battled back to fitness from a fourth knee ligament injury, which ruled him out for the whole of last season.
Bates has been limited to less than 50 first-team appearances for Boro, but when he has played - he has always impressed.
Now he is hoping to prove himself to new Boro boss Gordon Strachan - who took charge whilst Bates was sidelined.
"The knee feels brilliant. In terms of the muscles this is the best it has ever felt," said Bates as he joined in pre-season training with the rest of the Boro squad.
"In fact my legs feel better now than when I was playing in the Premier League.
"A lot of that is down to the surgeon and the physios here.
"If there was a game tomorrow, then I would be fit enough to play around 45 minutes.
"I have been looking forward to getting back for some time now.
"It's been nearly 12 months since the injury and this is the longest time in rehab that I have had and the longest time out.
"I went to America to change the environment for a while but for the past four or five months since I started running again I have been looking forward to getting going again in pre-season.
"It's like a new manager has just come in for me. It's my job to try to impress him.
"I've got to do that, but I've also got to do what I can for myself and do it my way.
"I have to enjoy myself and hope that the manager likes what he sees."