Mikael Lustig has breathed a sigh of relief now that he can safely play football well into his 30s.
The 27-year old Swedish defender underwent a necessary hip operation which had him sidelined for four months prior to his return as a substitute in the weekend’s 6-0 win over Inverness.
Lustig had struggled to maintain fitness during a busy period, which saw him juggling Sweden national team duties and club obligations with the Hoops, so was forced under the knife in a bid to address the problem once and for all.
Lustig insists he is feeling good after recovering from the surgery and returning to full fitness and is now eyeing a new contract with the Scottish champions.
"I feel fine. I have been out for four months so there will be a little but stiffness but it will get better and better,” he told the Daily Record.
"I spoke to the doctor in Sweden after the 2012 Euros and he said if I wanted to play football when I was 33 or 34 then I needed to do it.
"There were a lot of games that I struggled to finish so hopefully that will be the end of that as well.
"It has been hard. I have never been out for more than two or three weeks before so four months is a long time.
"But we went out the World Cup (qualifiers) with Sweden, the Champions League was over and it was winter, so the timing was quite good and the boys were playing well with good results so that made it easier.
"It will be great if I can get one or two games more, then after taking a vacation, I will be 100 per cent fit for next season."
Of a possible new deal, the former Rosenborg man right-back added: "Yes, I really enjoy being here so yes.
"We have started talking so we will see what happens."
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