Stoke striker Bojan Krkic says his strength and confidence levels have returned following his first start in six months.
The Spaniard had been out of action since late January after picking up a serious knee injury during an FA Cup tie against Rochdale but he played over an hour of last weekend's Colonia Cup defeat to Porto.
Potters boss Mark Hughes sounded a note of caution on Monday regarding Bojan's long-awaited return, saying he would not rush the former Barcelona forward back into action, but the 24-year-old says he is delighted to be playing again.
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"I was happy to start and play over an hour, which was good for my fitness," Bojan told stokecityfc.com
"When you play, of course you want to win, but the most important thing about pre-season is improving your fitness.
"I feel really good and every day I feel much stronger, more powerful and more confident and I am happy with that.
"When you come back from a long time out, you need to play and take confidence and that is what I have achieved in the last two pre-season games."
Bojan proved a huge hit in the Potteries following his surprise £3 million switch from Barcelona last summer.
He scored five goals in 18 games, including three in the five matches before his season-ending injury at Spotland, but his return to first-team action seems on hold for now as Hughes suggested this week that Sunday's Barclays Premier League opener against Liverpool would be too soon for him.
Hughes said the once-capped Spanish international is "not quite there yet and he understands that" but Bojan plans to be involved in league action sooner rather than later.
"I have been working very hard to be back before the season, that was my target," Bojan said.
"This week I am going to work hard every day so I can be 100 per cent for my first game back in the new season.
"Everybody will be focused this week for our first game of the season and I think the team is very well prepared."