Newcastle United midfielder Kieron Dyer has targeted the Premiership clash against Bolton Wanderers later this month to make his long-awaited comeback from injury.
The 27-year-old has struggled with hamstring and groin injuries for long spells since his £6.5million from Ipswich Town to Tyneside in July 1999 and made only four Premiership starts for United last term.
However, Dyer now thinks he is close to full fitness, telling The Sun: "I want to get involved as soon as possible.
"Hopefully I can play a couple of reserve games and that will put me in good stead for a senior fixture soon.
"In training, I'm just thinking about getting the ball and running and not thinking about my hamstrings. That's the way it should be."
Magpies manager Glenn Roeder said: "We've given him a lot of extra time to regain full fitness this time.
"I've never heard such a positive Kieron Dyer. He seems to be very happy with the way things are going. You can see it in how bright his eyes are and in the look on his face."