West Ham striker Andy Carroll has described his return to training as a "fantastic feeling" and set his sights on European qualification.
The England international has not featured this term after suffering an ankle injury during a pre-season tour of New Zealand.
However, Carroll is now back in training and eager to return to Sam Allardyce's first-team plans.
"It's unbelievable," he told the club's official website. "I've been out for so long that to be back training with the lads again is a fantastic feeling.
"It has been a difficult few months, being in a dark gym by myself training every day.
"Seeing the lads go out and having the banter and not being as much a part of it that you want to be [is hard], but it's getting closer now and it feels a lot better.
"Just putting the boots on again for the first time is a real lift. That's what you're a footballer for, to go out on the grass and play football.
"That's where I am now and hopefully I'll be back in the squad soon."
West Ham have been one of the surprise packages of the Premier League season so far, sitting fourth after nine games.
New arrivals Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho have impressed in a new-look West Ham attack and Carroll is looking forward to working with the duo.
"We're playing fantastically," he added. "The gaffer has signed some great players and we're showing the quality we've got with the goals we're scoring.
"That's why we are where we are in the league, so for me to be a part of that - I cannot wait.
"I think we can push right on for Europe. I don't see why not - I think all the lads are positive about that and I know the gaffer is too."comments