Jimmy Bullard admits he 'owes' Hull City after spending almost his entire time at the club on the sidelines.
The lively midfielder lasted just 53 minutes on his Tigers debut back in January before sustaining a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The setback represented the worst possible start for a man who had only moved to the KC Stadium from Fulham during the winter transfer window.
He has since been forced to endure a lengthy rehabilitation programme, including complex surgery in the States under the careful guidance of renowned specialist Dr Richard Steadman.
Bullard is, however, finally closing in on a first-team return and is determined to prove to his doubters that he is not an injury-prone flop.
"I owe Hull. I know that," he told the News of the World.
"This is an ambitious club, they showed me that from the start. I want to pay them back.
"I know there are people out there thinking that I probably won't get back playing with a knee like this, but I ain't worried. I just want to play.
"Football is entertainment. I want to get people off their seats.
"I want to have a laugh, I play better when I'm relaxed.
"You have to realise that whenever you step on the field it could be the last time, so I enjoy what's happening."