Michael Johnson has set his sights on a September return from his lengthy lay-off and is convinced he will bounce back stronger than ever.
The Manchester City midfielder suffered a knee ligament injury last December, just a month after returning from a year on the sidelines.
The former England Under 21 star is facing a busy summer to get his game back but Johnson is relishing the challenge.
He told city's website: 'I won't be ready for the start of season, but everything is going well and we're looking at probably September time.
'I'm working hard and my knee feels good, it feels normal again. It's about building fitness now and not doing anything too quickly. One mistake and you're back to square one or worse.
'Lately it's been going so well I've been running a bit too fast - well, I have been out for five months.
'But I'm being told 'slow down', and I have to put the reins on and hold back. I've been back to the surgeon three times for check-ups and he's given the all-clear each time. You have to return after six months, so I'll see him in another month or so.'
Johnson's suffered the injury in training while his first long absence was down to a problem with his pelvis.
He added: 'These things make you mentally tougher. I had to stop and my studs got stuck in the turf, it wasn't just the cruciate, but I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me.
'I was out the year before, so when you find out you're going to have 12 months off again it's gutting, but you have been through it before - you know you can get through it again.'
Manchester City eye £22m Yoann Gourcuff as Laurent Blanc departure pushes star towards Bordeaux exitBuy, buy Manchester City: Money men swoop for David Luiz as Villa fight to keep MilnerJamie Redknapp: I can see why Villa are fighting to keep City target MilnerMan City dilemma as Real Madrid enter race for Santos's brilliant GansoManchester City nip in quick for £24m Milner as Chelsea join the raceMANCHESTER CITY FC