Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen is targeting a fresh start to the 2013-14 season after the Welshman declared himself 'almost' fit and available for selection once again.
The 23-year-old suffered a hamstring injury when Notts County visited Anfield in the Capital One Cup in August and has been restricted to a watching brief ever since.
When asked about Allen's fitness recently, manager Brendan Rodgers identified next weekend's trip to Newcastle as a potential opportunity for the No.24 to return.
With a fortnight to work further on his rehabilitation at Melwood while many of his teammates are away on international duty, Allen is confident of reaching that goal.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: "I'm almost there, basically. The plan is to get back into training, get a good few days leading up to the Newcastle game and hopefully I'll be available for selection from there on.
"It has been a bit of a frustrating time - it always is when you're injured - but I'm finally getting there. It was the one I had in the back of my mind anyway, so it has worked out quite nicely in that sense.
"I was disappointed; I thought I would get back for the Wales games but unfortunately they just came a bit soon. But it has meant that I got a bit of extra rehab leading up to that game. I have been able to get ready.
"With the timing of the injury, I hadn't really got into the swing of things. This is a fresh start of the season for me personally. It is great to come back with the team doing so well."
The problem Allen picked up at the beginning of the current campaign was a cruel blow, arriving so soon after the former Swansea player was forced to miss the climax of last season with a shoulder injury.
A positive approach to dealing with the issue helped the midfielder throughout his lay-off, however, and he delivered a special message of thanks to his teammates for their support.
"I tell myself it comes with the territory of this job, unfortunately," the Wales international added. "There are players who have had worse injuries than I have had and have been out longer.
"That's the way to look at it sometimes when you're feeling sorry for yourself - you have to remember these things. But I'm through the tough part of it and almost there now, so I'm really looking forward to getting my season up and running.
"The lads have been great, as usual. When you're injured, you almost feel useless because you can't get out there and help the team.
"When matchday comes around, you're disappointed not to be a part of it. But the lads have told me to stick with it, be patient and I'll be back soon. I'm grateful to them for that.
"It's easy to feel sorry for yourself. Unfortunately, you can be unlucky and these things can happen. You've got to deal with it in the best way possible.
"I think the best way to do that is to look further forward at the end product of doing all your rehab - getting back out there playing and doing what you love."