Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves is confident he will return from major knee surgery a better player.
The England international has had a virtually non-existent second season at Old Trafford after operations on both knees have kept him out of action until the summer.
Surgery was required to cure the midfielder's on-going tendinitis problem which previously disrupted his time at Bayern Munich, prior to his £18.6million move to England.
But after an extensive rehabilitation programme in the USA, under the direction of renowned Colorado-based surgeon Dr Richard Steadman, Hargreaves is now stepping up his recovery back at United's Carrington training complex.
FrustratingAnd the 28-year-old is optimistic he can return to top form while also giving longer life to his career as a result of going under the knife.
"I am going to come back stronger and hopefully add a couple more years to my career," Hargreaves told the Manchester Evening News.
Although it may have been tempting to watch United in action, the Canadian-born star often opts out, keeping focused instead on his own recovery programme rather than the club's progress.
"It has been frustrating at times, I don't really watch our games because as an athlete, and being so competitive, it is hard to watch when you would normally be out there," he added.