Michael Owen believes he can still make a vital contribution to Manchester United's title chase, even if it is only fleeting appearances in the final handful of fixtures.
The former England international has not featured for the Red Devils since suffering a thigh injury back in November, clocking up just four appearances and three goals this term.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side have roared to the brink of their 20th title in Owen's absence, moving five points clear of nearest challengers Manchester City with just seven games remaining on the back of Monday night's 2-0 success away to Blackburn.
But the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle forward has vowed to give Ferguson something to ponder in the closing weeks of the season as he closes in on full fitness.
"I have to get myself to a stage where I could be available for the last four or five matches," Owen said. "To a certain extent that would be my job done.
"If I am available, should we get an injury or need a goal in the last 10 minutes then I am there and the manager knows I have a track record that suggests I can do something.
"Whether I play or not is the manager's decision but I can get myself into that position."
Owen admits this season has been particularly difficult, given the amount of time he has spent on the sidelines and away from the training pitches.
"The nightmare is going into training every day, everyone seeing you, asking how you are getting on and how far you are off, then you toddle off into the gym and they toddle off the other way to train," he said.
"It is hard. You feel as if you are not playing any part.
"I have played hundreds of games at the top level - England, Champions League, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester United. I have been there and done it. But you want it all the time.
"Not being involved for most of this season has left me hurting inside.
"And this where you get itchy feet. You can see it. You can virtually go out there and train with them."