Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has warned Marton Fulop he is ready to fight for his place after putting an injury nightmare behind him.
The 26-year-old Scotland international is already back at the club's Academy of Light training headquarters as he recovers from knee surgery. The Edinburgh-born player managed only 14 appearances last season after losing his place to Fulop but is now fully focused on restoring himself as first-choice keeper at the Stadium of Light.
Gordon told the club's official website, www.safc.com: "After starting last season fairly well, it just fell away after that and it was just one thing after another for me. I have not experienced that before in my career, but hopefully I have got all that out of the way at the same time and I can concentrate on getting fit and healthy and have a good run at it this season."
He added: "It was a new experience for me and it was difficult to handle, but these things happen over the course of a player's career and it's about bouncing back and handling it, coming back fitter and stronger and ready to go again."
Gordon's team-mates are not due back until next Thursday, when new manager Steve Bruce will start the process of assessing his squad in earnest. But his rehabilitation work is already well under way.
He continued: "It's not going too badly. I'm slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things.
"I'm at the rehab phase now, just getting the knee used to the rigours of the training that we can expect over the next few weeks.
"The operation was to clean the knee of debris, smooth the surfaces, making sure that everything was working properly again.
"Now it's a case of building up the muscles around it and getting back into training as soon as possible."