Sunderland midfielder Kieran Richardson has vowed to hit the ground running when the 2008/09 season gets under way.
Richardson signed at the Stadium of Light last summer from Manchester United for a fee of £5.5million.
But the 23-year-old endured an injury-plagued campaign, tallying just 15 Premier League starts over the course of the season.
Richardson, though, is sure he will bounce back from a frustrating term after revealing he has returned to training early in a bid to reach peak physical fitness.
"Last season was very difficult because shortly after I arrived I discovered a stress fracture in my back and the cure was rest," he said in the Sunday Mirror.
"That kept me out for four months and made me lose fitness I had built up during pre-season.
"So when I came back I had put on 10 kilos which I felt was a bit too heavy for me.
"In the last 20 minutes of games the extra weight was taking its toll and I think that might have played a part in my hamstring going.
"But I've been working really hard this summer and I'm back down to 74 kilos, my ideal weight. I've started doing work early so when pre-season starts I am flying.
"I want to show the Sunderland fans the best of me and repay the manager for bringing me here."