Hull City's Sone Aluko is determined not to take any unnecessary risks as he prepares to return from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Aluko has been out since mid-October with an Achilles problem, but featured in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Tuesday.
Although eager to make up for lost time after a frustrating lay-off, the forward is determined to ensure he is fully fit before pushing for a first-team recall.
"It was just enjoyable to be back out there playing on Tuesday," Aluko told Hull's official website.
"To be out there running around and getting a sweat on was great. After the last two or three months, just being back out on any pitch was a bonus and I'm in the last stage of my rehab now.
"I managed to play for an hour and I was more than happy with that after what has been a long three months for me.
"It took me a few minutes to get fully into it, but I managed to play my way into the game and I felt good. As expected, I felt a little bit worse for wear the following day but I've been back out in training today (Thursday) and feeling good.
"I can feel my sharpness coming back slowly, but it's not where I want it to be and there's a way to go yet. But for this stage, I'm happy with where I'm at and hopefully it keeps on going the way it's going.
"The next step is to keep building my strength and fitness up and managing the process. I'm not trying to rush back in and be a hero by doing things that my body isn't ready to do yet. I'm taking my time to make sure I'm fully fit."
Hull, who sit 13th in the Premier League, are among 11 clubs tightly bunched together and eager to avoid relegation from the top flight.
"The league is very tight at the moment and I want to make sure that if I do get the chance to help the team, I'm able to do my best for the team rather than be in and then back out again," Aluko added.comments