Kenwyne Jones admits he is 'excited' by the future at Sunderland as he prepares to make his return from injury.
The Trinidad & Tobago striker has not played for his club this season after suffering a knee injury in the friendly with England in June.
He is now back to fitness and has been pencilled in to feature for the reserves against Wigan Athletic on Wednesday night.
If he comes through the game unscathed, Jones could be available for Saturday's derby against Newcastle United and he is champing at the bit to return.
"I'm excited to be playing again," Jones told the club's official website.
"Everyone helpd me through the bad times - my family, the fans, the players and the staff. It's like a big family at Sunderland and it's great to know that people support you.
"I'm excited about the future, the team is stronger and the club is stronger, I can't wait to get back out there and join in."
Jones admits it has been a long road back to fitness after fearing he could have been sidelined until next March.
He added: "I had the possibility of being out until March, but thank God some good news came along and I'm here now.
"It's difficult because you have to start learning to walk and run properly again. It's been a long old road in the gym."