Tim Cahill is refusing to set unrealistic targets as he steps up his preparations for the new season.
The Everton midfielder, who has been recovering from surgery on a metatarsal problem, insists that it would be foolish to push himself too hard, too soon.
The Australian international is aware that rushing his return could result in a further setback, something he is desperate to avoid after being forced to sit out the Toffees' end of season run-in last term.
"The operation was a success, but I'm playing everything by ear," Cahill told Everton's official website.
"I think the biggest thing for myself is just taking my time and not trying to rush it. I will just train hard and wait for them to give me the all clear.
"If I can get myself ready for the new season that's great. We've got such a good team and hopefully I'll play some part in the start or near the start. There's going to be a fight for places again this year and I'm raring to go.
"I think I'm fortunate that I seem to get injured towards the end of the season. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise because it means I can do all my rehab in the summer.
"I can't afford to set targets though. I've broken it a few times and now I've had quite radical surgery. The good thing is I'm experienced in this part and I've kept myself really fit. Even if I can't run I can still work out on the bikes and on other parts of my game."