Micah Richards will not be rushing his comeback from knee surgery as he is determined to ensure he is 100 per cent fit.
The Manchester City and England defender was forced to undergo surgery at the end of February, with his expected absence then put at six weeks.
Richards is easing his way back into training, but with the end of the season on the horizon may not feature again for his club until August.
Speaking exclusively to skysports.com at a photo-shoot for the adidas Predator campaign, Richards said: "I'm just back in training now, but with knees if you do too much on them they can swell up a lot.
"The club are trying to be a little bit cautious with it and they won't play me until I'm 100 per cent.
"I train some days and I rest other days and it's looking alright, but it won't be rushed. We'll have to see what the manager thinks.
"I don't want to come back too quickly and have it happen again. I want to make sure it's right before I come back, and then next season I'll be all guns blazing.
"City were on a good run then and we looked like we were going to get into Europe, so to get my injury was a bit of a blow. But you've got to take it as it comes and I'll only come back stronger now."
And Richards believes he can force his way into Fabio Capello's England plans once he is back in action at the City of Manchester Stadium.
The young full-back was a regular under Steve McClaren, but missed out on Capello's first squad before injury struck.
But he is confident that a repeat of the performances which made him a key player for his club earlier in the season will bring him to the Italian's notice.
He added: "I've got no doubts about getting back into the England squad.
"The main thing I'm concentrating on is getting back to playing regularly and getting back to my top form for my club, because that's the only way I'm going to get picked.
"There's no reason why I can't get back into the team if I'm playing well for City."