Tomas Rosicky believes his fitness is in a better condition than when he joined Arsenal, but the midfielder remains cautious over his return to action.
The Czech Republic international endured a wretched 2008/09 as a series of injuries saw him sidelined for the campaign.
Rosicky returned to training with Arsenal's first-team in May, but manager Arsene Wenger resisted the urge to select the former Borussia Dortmund star.
The 28-year-old, who arrived in England in 2006, is now confident about his cardiovascular fitness, but admits he will need to ease himself into Wenger's plans.
When asked how long it will be before he can feature in the first XI, Rosicky told deniksport.cz: "I cannot tell. According to (fitness coach) Tony Colbert, I could have been playing at the end of the last season, he saw no reason why I shouldn't, as he thought my fitness was okay. The club decided not to play me.
"They did not consult with me. They saw that I was okay and maybe they just did not want to take the gamble. I think that it was obvious from the training that I was ready to play, if not for 90 minutes.
"Until I play in a league match I will not be able to tell what my chances are. When it comes to fitness alone, I must say that I am in a better shape than I was when I came to Arsenal.
"But I don't know what will happen after I make repeated sprints from one end of the pitch to the other."