Club captain Adam Lockwood is nearing a return to the Oldham Athletic first team after six months on the sidelines with an unusual foot injury.
After finishing last season in fine form, the veteran defender suffered an unusual injury to the bottom of his foot, ruling him out initially for four months.
Lockwood recovered from that injury and took part in several reserve team games to gain fitness but suffered a two month setback.
Since then, the defender has been working hard in the gym to get back into first team contention but admits it has been a long road to recovery.
He said: "It's been a frustrating six months but I've tried to make use of the time. I knew when it happened it would be a long stretch so I've made use of my time well.
"We're are still a little bit off what I want to be at the moment and the weather isn't helping me get back into the swing of things but I'll be back as soon as possible.
"I want to get myself available for selection as soon as possible and I don't think it would be sensible at this moment in time as there is a little bit more work to do but if that was the case, I would make myself available and ready."
During his lay-off, Lockwood has helped the backroom staff, stepping up as first-team coach before the appointment of Dean Holden and regularly assists the analyst during match days.
With the club not winning a game throughout December, that run of form did catch the former Doncaster Rovers man off guard but feels the players are close to being back at their best.
He said: "Looking from the outside it was a shock that we had the blip we did. From the inside, from the group we have got, the confidence went from sky high and it took a little knock.
"When you look at the last couple of performances, they were there and I'm a big believer in if you make the performance levels right, you will win more than you lose.
"We got back to concentrating on what we believe in and what we set about at the start of the season so hopefully that will come back and we will reap the rewards from it."
Watch the full interview on Latics Player.