Jimmy Bullard is confident he will be back in action in eight to ten weeks.
The Fulham midfielder has been sidelined since suffering a horrific knee injury last September and will not be fit for the start of the new season.
But he is delighted with how his recovery is going and believes he is now almost ready to return.
"I've just started kicking, and changing direction when I'm running, so I finally feel like a sportsman again," he told Sky Sports News.
"It's coming on really good. I've had no swelling on my knee and when my surgeon looked at the knee he said it was awesome.
"I just can't wait to get back out there and start playing with the boys again."
Bullard is optimistic that if he does not suffer any more setbacks he will be available for selection in October.
"I never like to give myself a date but if I say eight to ten weeks I won't be far off," he said.
"When you've got an injury like this there can always be a hiccup around the corner but, fingers crossed, I don't think I'm too far away."