Bolton Wanderers midfielder Mark Davies is targeting a pre-season return with his fellow teammates this summer.
The highly-rated 23-year-old missed the closing stages of last season with an ankle injury, and after surgery last month the former Leicester City loanee is hoping to return to full fitness in time for the new campaign.
Signed from Wolves back in January '09, Davies has become a key component of the Trotters side and hopes to maintain his place in the side under Owen Coyle on his return.
"I've not felt any pain in my ankle for a couple of weeks now so everything seems to be progressing well. I've been at the training ground throughout the last month whilst the rest of the lads have been away, although I have had a short break when I was allowed to go away and relax for a week," Davies told the official Bolton website.
"The operation in London was only short and lasted about 20 minutes, but I needed to have it done because I had a couple of fragments of bone floating around in the ankle. It all came about when we played Birmingham in the FA Cup tie. I twisted my ankle late on and it had been niggling away since then.
"For the first two weeks after the surgery I was walking about on crutches but I stepped-up the work after that, focusing mainly on strengthening the ankle. I'm aiming to start running again later this week and then hopefully I should be set to start full pre-season training with the rest of the lads when they are back on July 4."
Whilst pre-season is regarded as the worst time of year by many footballers, given the fitness work that teams go through, Davies can't wait to get back on the pitch and put in the work ahead of the next Barclays Premier League campaign.
"Not playing at the end of last season was frustrating, especially because I'd managed to stay fully fit all season up to that point," he continued.
"To be honest, I'm looking forward to the start of pre-season now because it seems like quite a while since I was out there kicking a ball around."