Wellington Phoenix striker Chris Greenacre underwent shoulder surgery three weeks ago and is recovering well as he gets back to good condition for pre-season training.
The Englishman enjoyed a successful season from a personal point of view in 2010/11, scoring eight goals, and he will now concentrate on using the long off-season to get himself to peak fitness ahead of next season.
"It was disappointing hearing we would have a longer than usual off season, but a late start now suits me down to the ground," Greenacre said.
"Even with that I wouldn't have been able to think about making the start of the season had our physio Adam Crump and the surgeon, Robert Rowan, not been able to get me in for the operation as soon as last season ended.
"Unfortunately when they opened it up the injury was more serious than they thought and the last few weeks have been very painful.
"Straight after the operation I was on medication I could induce myself and it was pretty strong stuff. I was in a happy place most of the time, though [wife] Lynsey was probably getting fed up with having to do everything for me!
"At least with it being the left shoulder I could wash myself.
"It is getting better day by day and I can now take the sling off when I am sitting down, and the specialist is pleased with the way it is progressing.
"This is the first major operation I've undergone and it is hard not being able to do simple things like running, something I've always taken for granted.
"During the season I would be in the gym lifting weights and looking forward to a break from it. Now I would love to be able to do it.
"I was really looking forward to playing plenty of golf during the break but that too has obviously gone out the window."