Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones returns to action on Wednesday after fearing at one stage that injury could keep him out until March.
Jones is on his way back from a knee injury sustained on international duty against England in June and is set to play for Sunderland's reserves against Wigan.
"I'm excited to be playing a game again," said the Trinidad & Tobago international.
"I've been training for the last two-and-a-half to three weeks, so it will be nice to get back to kicking footballs again.
"The worst part after I had got the injury was the first six weeks. I couldn't really do any rehab and it was just a case of waiting around for something to happen.
"Originally, there was a possibility that I would be out until March and I had already mentally prepared myself for that. But, thank God, some good news came along and I am here now," Jones told the Sunderland Echo.
Sunderland face Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby on Saturday but Jones, the Black Cats' top scorer last season, is not looking to rush back.
He added: "It will be great to play in the first team whenever that happens, but for now I am just taking it one day at a time. I can't say what's going to happen.
"I have the game tonight and after that we'll see what the next day brings and then the next day.
"If I'm in the squad on Saturday then so be it, but if not I can't worry about it because I am still in the rehabilitation process. I'm not even going to keep my fingers crossed because that messes you up - I'll just wait and see."