Hartlepool United defender Carl Magnay claims that his injured right knee is now stronger than ir was pre-injury.
And, as a result, he’s champing at the bit to be given the first-team nod by gaffer Dave Jones.
Magnay, who has missed much of the season after suffering cruciate ligament damage, is now back and fully fit.
He got two minutes off the bench in the closing stages of Pools’ weekend defeat by Portsmouth. And he’s keen for more this weekend away to Morecambe.
“It feels great. It feels strong,” Magnay said of the injured knee.
“It feels better than it ever did and definitely better than my right knee, that I did seven years ago.
“It has been awful watching on from the sidelines.
“If any player is happy watching on from the stands, they should not be a professional footballer.
“It is easy looking on saying ‘I would have done this, I would have done that’.
“It is so nice to be back. Now I want to play.”
While the physical battle has been tough – it has taken Magnay eight months to return to full training from the injury suffered against Mansfield back in September – that is only half the fight.
He believes dealing with the injury and the time spent off the pitch is the hardest thing to cope with.
“That has been the biggest battle,” he said of the mental battle.
“With that kind of injury you know you are going to be out for a long time.
You have to deal with that initially.
“But, in fairness, the time passed a lot quicker than I ever could have imagined.
“I am older, wiser, knew what to expect, but it was massively aided by Stuart Parnaby. He made my training enjoyable. It was different every day.
“Buster (Ian Gallagher, the club physio) is fantastic.
“Phil Bulmer and Craig Hubbard were great, also – they have got a great team there, doing a fantastic job.”