West Ham defender Danny Gabbidon admits that he is still not sure when he will make his long-awaited return to action.
The Wales international has been sidelined since December 2007 with a variety of injuries and complications that have plagued the 29-year-old's recent career.
More than a year on from the original injury and the mental effect on Gabbidon has become just as pronounced as his physical concerns, with problem after problem slowly wearing down his morale.
"It's been a long time and it has been quite frustrating. I was hoping to get back a long time ago," he told the club's official website.
"It's been tough, a few setbacks here and there, I thought I was getting there and then something else happens.
"It wasn't one problem but two or three different things that are quite complicated and have proved quite hard to get rid of.
"It sounds a bit silly but it may have been better to have had a straightforward injury like a broken leg. You know then you might come back."
But finally there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Gabbidon, whose latest improvements have enabled him to anticipate a return to action within the next few months.
"I know the back is better than it was before and I can make a few targets and goals now," he added.
"Hopefully in a month I may be running and closer to training and then I can incorporate a few more targets and goals into my programme.
"I've spoken to the manager (Gianfranco Zola) a few times. He has been really good with me. He asks me how I am and says 'we are waiting for you to come back'."