The 33-year-old centre-back’s summer anguish was compounded when he was left out of England’s Euro 2012 squad.
He revealed: “It’s the longest holiday I’ve had. I’m 100 per cent ready to put everything back into football now.
“When you can see the fixtures you start champing at the bit to start training.
“I am getting to the latter stages of my career so I need to come back as fit as I can to keep up with the younger guys.”