Midfielder Scott Parker believes he has benefitted from his time on the sidelines as he bids to help Tottenham clinch a top four spot.
The England international suffered an Achilles injury at Euro 2012 and made his first start of the season in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United.
He impressed last season and captained England against the Netherlands in February, but Parker feels his absence has made him a better player.
Parker told the club's website: "I think the break has really done me good and I feel fit and sharp. I touch wood when I say it because football can come around and bite you on the backside, but I feel really good.
"On a personal level I feel fine, really good. I've had a few games now and I'm raring to go and get right back into it.
"I was out for five months but I was in the gym every day for the best part of four months of that time, doing conditioning and strength work.
"In a weird way I think my body needed that rest because I've played a lot of football for many years now and that was probably the longest I've been out for as long as I can remember."
Parker returns as team-mate Sandro is ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.
Sandro's absence has caused speculation that Tottenham could bring in Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby this month rather than in the summer when he joins on a free transfer.
But Parker is keen to build on his first start of the campaign and help Tottenham to a top four finish.
"Now I'm looking to establish myself back in the team and push on from there," he said.
"We need to stay as strong as we can and try to maintain what we've done in the first half of the season. We got some great results over the Christmas period and we need to maintain it."