Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard has targeted a return to first-team training in eight weeks following his horrific knee injury last season.
Bullard, 28, has been out for nearly a year after the accidental clash at Newcastle and has joined in training with running but refuses to rush his comeback to action.
He said: “If all goes well I should be training with the first team in about eight weeks but with an injury like mine there could be a hiccup so it’s a case of fingers crossed.
“At the minute there’s been no swelling or pain so it’s going really well.
“It’s hard because I’m doing separate training but the manager’s been fantastic and has started to bring me in to train with the first team as much as possible.
“He’s been great and the players he’s signed are awesome – we’ll have a real good squad this year.”
He added: “To be right for the Premier League – where you get the toughest, quickest and hardest players – it’s got to be spot on and that’s what I can’t rush.
“I’ve been told, and I believe, it’ll be stronger than ever, so I can’t wait.”
Fulham start their season with a trip to Arsenal on Saturday, with Bullard keen for his team-mates to make a kick the campaign off on a positive note.
“You need a good start in the Premier League because it’s such a tight League and confidence is a factor,” he said on the club’s official website.
“I’ll definitely be there on Sunday but I’m not the best at watching games to be honest.
“The gaffer wants all the players there so we’ll all be there supporting the boys as they try and beat Arsenal.
“To be honest I just can’t wait to get back out there and do the business again.”