Aston Villa left-back Wilfred Bouma has quashed reports that he is on the verge of retiring through injury.
The Dutchman has been struggling for fitness since dislocating his ankle in an Intertoto Cup clash with Danish side Odense in July last year.
Bouma, 31, was nearing a first-team return in April this year but suffered a setback and underwent keyhole surgery to remove particles from his troublesome ankle.
The surgery has been deemed a success and, despite reports of an early retirement in his native Holland, Bouma is setting his sights on returning to Martin O'Neil's first-team squad.
"My rehab is going great and I'm in good spirits," he told Aston Villa's official website.
"I have been doing rehab work for two weeks now and things are going really great. To read newspaper stories with that sort of speculation is really frustrating for me because it's progressing well.
"I have had a lot of calls, even from my friends in Holland, asking me about the stories. When people read things like this, some believe them. But things are going really well.
"There is no real hurry. I don't want to rush back. It's got to be right. There's no set date for my comeback but it's looking good and I'm in good spirits."