Scott Parker believes he can reach his best at West Ham under manager Alan Curbishley.
Parker said: "When you've been out for so long, and had a lot of disappointments, it doesn't get much better than scoring a last-minute winner and it's good to be back.
"This moment has been a long time coming, and I've had to be patient. I got injured in pre-season with a medial ligament problem and although I was supposed to be out for between four and six weeks, it just dragged on and on.
"It only added to the frustration that there were a couple of setbacks along the way but the fans have had to wait until nearly Christmas for me to get off the mark so I hope it was worth the wait."
Parker believes his career can move forward again after rejoining West Ham boss Alan Curbishley, the man who nurtured his talent at Charlton.
"Alan knows me and I know him which can't be a bad thing," he said.
Parker went from The Valley to Chelsea in 2004 for £10million but moved to Newcastle and then on to West Ham.
He had a good first year at St James's Park and was a firm favourite with fans who rewarded him with their Player of the Season award.
Then he became injured and things started to wrong but he added: "I haven't got a bad word to say about Newcastle. Things go wrong for people in all walks of life and I'm just happy to be back playing again.
"The team are in decent shape and who knows where we might finish in the final shake-up?"