Werder Bremen defender Naldo expressed his delight at overcoming his injury nightmare.
A persistent knee problem required several operations last season and he missed all of the campaign as a consequence.
But Naldo is now back to full fitness and is pleased his effort in rehabilitation has paid off in order to resume his career.
He told Kreiszeitung Syke newspaper: "I have worked very hard to get back to my old standard.
"It was no easy period of time and I told myself every day that I needed to stay patient. Now this has worked and I am delighted."