West Brom midfielder Zoltan Gera is aiming to making his return from a cruciate knee ligament injury in just over a fortnight.
The 34-year-old, who has been out since January, hopes to face Arsenal in the Capital One Cup third-round tie at The Hawthorns on September 23.
And, after making a full recovery, the Hungarian says he is eager to try and break his way back into manager Steve Clarke's first-team plans once more.
"If everything is going right then maybe I can play in the League Cup game," Gera told the Express and Star.
"Hopefully before that, I'll be able to play in the Under 21s. I've been busy in training, I haven't felt any problems and I'm getting closer. It's a great feeling."
With the club having signed the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Scott Sinclair, Matej Vydra, Morgan Amalfitano, Victor Anichebe and Stephane Sessegnon this summer, Gera admits competition for places is as fierce as ever.
"While I've been injured, the club has signed some very good attacking players," he said.
"It's the most competitive it's been for an attacking spot in my whole time at the club. It's great for the team to have more competition for places.
"We have so many good strikers, wingers and midfielders, so there's big competition for places.
"I'm sure it's the strongest we've been in those positions in my time at Albion. I have to be patient and make sure I make my comeback when I'm fully fit and ready for games.
"I'm not too frustrated and I'm just happy to be training again. I'm excited but it's important I don't play before I'm ready.
"Thanks to the doctors, physios, fitness guys and coaches, I'm almost there."