Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden admits he cannot wait to make his comeback from injury, but remains wary of rushing his rehabilitation.
Holden was ruled out of action for up to six months in March after a challenge from Manchester United defender Jonny Evans left him with a damaged knee. The 25-year-old United States international is pleased with the progress he has made since then, but knows he must not let his eagerness to get back into action disrupt the natural recovery process.
"There have been different phases of rehab. I was on crutches, then I was limited in my walking and now I'm starting to do a little bit more work," Holden told www.bwfc.co.uk. "It is like someone is dangling the carrot in front of you and the obvious end goal is getting out on the pitch. I can't wait for that moment, but I'm pleased with my progress and I'm taking it one step at a time."
He added: "If it was up to me, I'd be back out there with the lads now, but my body is the one telling me when I can and when I can't.
"I'm doing everything I can to make sure I can speed that process up. Some of it is just the healing and letting nature take it's course.
"I'm hoping to be back maybe at the end of September or early October, but I don't want to put a date on it.
"If I'm not ready, I'm not ready, but if I am ready before that, then I'll be out there, contributing and hopefully helping the team win."
Bolton's squad commenced pre-season training this week and fly out for a US tour this weekend.