Lewis Stevenson admits he was plunged in at the deep end last week against Morton as his Hibernian comeback went into extra-time.
A calf problem ruled the 31-year-old defender out of the first month of the season.
Stevenson’s hopes of a gentle re-introduction to Paul Heckingbottom’s side were wrecked when Morton refused to lie down during their Betfred Cup clash at Easter Road.
With the scores tied at 3-3 after 90 minutes, Stevenson was forced to battle on before goals from Florian Kamberi and Christian Doidge clinched a quarter-final slot.
But having had to dig deep, he insists he is feeling back to his best as Hibs shape up for Saturday’s clash with St Johnstone.
He said: “I feel ready to go. It was a frustrating time. Especially getting injured three days into pre-season.
“We all do work during the off-season and I was feeling good. I just had an Achilles problem that caught up with me and my calf went.
“But I feel good now – the Achilles feels better than it has in years. There’s no excuses and I’m ready to go.
“In an ideal world I would have played half a game, then 60 minutes, then worked up to a full game. But 120 last week was enough to get me going!
“I actually felt OK the couple of days after the game. I’m glad I’ve had that 120 minutes in my legs and hopefully I can do better on Saturday.”
Hibs got their Ladbrokes Premiership campaign off to a winning start against St Mirren but a 6-1 pasting from Rangers at Ibrox has deflated some of the early season optimism.
Stevenson hopes a first home league win against Tommy Wright’s struggling St Johnstone side since August 2012 will raise spirits.
He said: “It’s going to be a tough game. I’ve been surprised by the start they’ve had because on paper they have a lot of exciting players and a good attacking threat.
“But we’ve not done that great against them in recent years, it’s something we need to turn around.”
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