Lloyd Jones is finally closing in on a Blackpool return, after a century of days on the sidelines.
The Liverpool defender, who joined Pool on a season-long loan, has had three operations since suffering a shocking leg injuries against Chesterfield in September.
Jones returned to his Premier League club for rehabilitation, with many believing his season could be over.
But after a long recovery process, the 20-year-old is ready to step up his training and is targeting a return to Bloomfield Road next month.
Jones said: “On Wednesday it was 100 days since I was injured, so I’ve been out now for three and a half months.
“I’ve had three operations – two on my knee and one on my ankle – and I feel really good at the moment because I’ve been working hard at Liverpool.
“I tore the whole of my syndesmosis (joint), from knee to ankle, so it was quite painful.
“I was meant to be back in the middle of February but I’m ahead of schedule so far by about two weeks. Hopefully I can start partial training this week.”
It’s the first injury of a short career which has seen Jones make 25 starts for Accrington, Cheltenham and Blackpool.
He appeared nine times for the Seasiders and admits his injury has been mentally tough. Jones said: “I’d never actually been injured for more than two weeks. I think I’ve dealt with it quite well but I don’t think I could have been out much longer.
“I’ve never really wanted to watch any football while I’ve been injured, even though people say you can learn things from that.
“It was the last thing I wanted to think about because I couldn’t even move my leg at first. I hope this turns out to be the biggest injury in my career, though you don’t know.”
“I’m mentally prepared if anything happens like this again.”
Jones has kept in touch with the Seasiders in recent months and has watched the odd game.
He explained: “Most of the players have messaged me and the manager has called me on a few occasions, as well as physio Phil Horner and Richie Kyle, to see where I’m at. It’s been great they’ve kept in contact.
“I’d played most of the games and had started getting used to the team.
“Hopefully I can now play a few games to get my confidence up and then I’ll be ready to go again.
“I just want to step up a level every time I step out on the pitch.”