Sean Davis believes he is finally ready to kick-start his Bolton career, with a series of frustrating setbacks put firmly behind him.
The combative midfielder joined the Trotters from Portsmouth in the summer of 2009 and was looking forward to adding steel to the spine of their side.
He has, however, made just four appearances for the club during an injury-ravaged spell at the Reebok Stadium.
A succession of operations and aborted comebacks have kept him on the sidelines and prevented him from showing the Bolton faithful what he is capable of.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, though, with a reserve run-out on 13th December marking his first outing in 27 months.
Davis says he is now looking to build on that showing, return to full match fitness and force his way into Owen Coyle's plans.
The determined 32-year-old told the club's official website: "Now I've come through a few games, I feel like I'm almost there.
"It's been hard. I'm very much the forgotten man. It's been embarrassing at times.
"Saying that, I know I've got a strong character to prove a lot of people wrong.
"My aim now is to give the gaffer a headache. I want to keep progressing in training and for the reserves, and then get myself registered in the first-team squad come January."
Davis admits there were times when he wondered if he would ever play again.
He said: "There's been so many long days of doubting whether you're ever going to play football again.
"But, you keep working hard and hoping that there's going to be some light at the end of the tunnel."