David Beckham is ready to put one of the hardest spells in his career behind him as he approaches a competitive comeback for Los Angeles Galaxy.
Beckham ruptured his Achilles while on loan with AC Milan earlier this year - an injury that ruled him out of the World Cup - and then received news that Fabio Capello was calling time on his England career via a television interview. But things are finally looking up for the former national captain, who has been officially taken off the Galaxy's injury list and expects to feature from the bench against Columbus Crew on Saturday.
"Not playing for six months is really tough. It's the first time that's happened to me in my life," Beckham was quoted as saying in The Sun. "It's so frustrating when you are injured and you're not involved in the game and you can't do anything. But it's made me realise how much I do love the game."
He continued: "I've only been eligible to play for a couple of days now. So being taken off that injured list is a boost for me and hopefully being involved in the game will be another boost.
"The important thing for me is the soccer. As long as I can get on the field and get myself fit, that's what matters.
"I'm feeling very good and I'm ready. I've been working hard with the rehab, trying to get the strength back in my legs."
The 35-year-old also confirmed he would not contemplate any more winter loan spells in Europe, having twice decamped to the Rossoneri to help keep himself in the international picture.
"I think I need a rest, my body needs that," he said. "I've been hitting it quite hard for the last couple of years and the injury is because of that. So I think it's now time for me to maybe look at myself, look at my fitness and make sure I have that first before I make any other decisions."
Beckham also revealed that he has spoken to Capello since the Italian said he was "too old" for the international game.
"Obviously it was a surprise when Fabio Capello said I was too old," said the 115-cap midfielder. "But he spoke to me after that and explained everything to me and it was all brushed under the carpet. At the end of the day, the manager's got a job to do and he's doing that well. He's said if you're playing well and you're fit you can play."