Defender Dean Howell is hoping to put his injury hell behind him when Fleetwood Town return from their summer break.
The full-back has missed the last two months of the season with a torn hamstring sustained in the 0-0 draw with Exeter City back in March.
Having suffered a setback in his recovery, Howell is hoping to be firing on all cylinders when Town return to training on June 21.
“It’s been horrendous,” he admitted. “The injury came out of nowhere.
“I recovered so quickly, in record crazy time for a tear like that.
“I was up to 95 per cent running speed. It was unheard of for that to happen.
“But maybe I pushed myself too much because I went back to training and did it again.”
For Howell it was frustating to sit out the business end of the season, watching his team-mates’ play-off hopes gradually fade away in a disappointing run-in.
“There’s not a lot you can do,” he said. “I could see what was happening on the pitch but you’ve just got to concentrate on getting yourself fit again.”
Howell is grateful for the support he’s been given by the club’s backroom staff, who have been involved in one-to-one training ground sessions to help the defender recover.
“I’ve been working really hard with the physio and with the fitness team. Their experience and expertise has been crucial,” he added.
Despite his enforced two-month break from playing, Howell is still looking forward to a summer break.
“Yes, I want to get back on that pitch,” he admitted.
“But it’s a long season – 10 months you’re looking at in terms of the fixtures and everything that goes on around you. It’s very intense and you need that rest.
“But I’m sure when we’re back in, at the end of June, I’ll be ready.
“I’ll be champing at the bit.” At 32, Howell is one of the senior members of the Fleetwood squad, but he believes there are plenty of games in him yet.
“I look after myself. I take the care of my body very seriously.
“I don’t drink alcohol and I’m careful with my diet. It’s all about being in the best possible shape.
“You’ve got to be making sure you’re doing the best for your body 24-seven, 365 days a year.
“I’m going to make sure I’m fit for the start of the season and hopefully I can get back into the first team.”
Howell has already tasted promotion from League Two with Crawley Town and is hoping he can be part of a successful Fleetwood set-up next term.
He said: “I’ve been there and achieved back to back promotions with Crawley.
“That’s what we all want with Fleetwood. It’s a small club but there’s a lot of expectation.
“I’m sure the manager and the chairman will do everything they can to put together a successful side and it would be great to be a part of that.”