Derby County's Shaun Barker is convinced he will be fully fit next season after undergoing knee surgery.
The 28-year-old defender suffered an ongoing problem throughout the 2010/11 campaign before having the operation in April.
And although Barker only missed three games, he believes being unable to participate in many of the training sessions had a significant impact on his overall fitness.
But now, having overcome the frustration of a particularly demanding season, the former Blackpool player is looking forward to getting back to his best.
Barker said: "Painkillers got me through most games but my training was stopped pretty much.
"Fitness-wise I was nowhere near where I could or should have been for a player who was playing week-in, week-out.
"I can't wait to get back to full fitness now I have had the operation."
Barker's return to Pride Park will be welcomed by a team looking to build on a disappointing 19th-placed finish last season.