Nottingham Forest’s Chris Cohen says he is scheduled to commence full-contact training later this week.
The 28-year-old is coming towards the end of a period of light training following the third serious knee injury of his career.
And on Friday he will take another positive step by participating in full training for the first time since suffering his latest injury in September 2014.
Cohen told Forest Player HD: “It’s been a long process and there have been a couple of setbacks, which have been unfortunate. It’s taken longer than we all hoped it would.
“But I start training on Friday, full contact with the boys, and I’m looking to get an Under 21s game in two-three weeks’ time.
“I’m really excited.”
High on Cohen’s priority list is working towards preventing a similar injury from occurring again.
He has been studying footage of himself, particularly of the incident which caused his latest injury, and absorbing advice from Forest medical staff and specialists.
And, while the former West Ham man accepts it won’t be easy for him to remember all he has learned in the heat of battle, he hopes to have new movements and tactical approaches firmly imprinted in his mind when he returns to action.
Cohen said: “That’s something I have to try to implement in training and make subconscious, which is a difficult thing to do but at the same time I’ve had so much time to think about it. It’s definitely working with the stuff I’m doing with the physio.
“My problem has been running as quickly as I can and, without slowing down properly and safely, trying to make tackles and change direction. That’s how I did it against Derby.
“There’s no way anyone’s knee could have survived doing the things I did.”