Owen Hargreaves insists he can rediscover his best form.
The Manchester United midfielder ended an 18-month injury nightmare last night when he made a 45-minute appearance in the Red Devils reserve side's win over Burnley at Altrincham's Moss Lane ground.
It is the first step in what could be an extended battle to regain his place, both at Old Trafford and also in the England team.
Even the World Cup has not been entirely ruled out as the 29-year-old inches further forward in his recovery programme.
But Hargreaves' ultimate aim is to rediscover the form that made him England's player of the 2006 World Cup and persuaded Alex Ferguson to invest £18m for him 12 months later.
"I had better get there," said the former Bayern Munich star. "I am not coming back to just be one of the guys and to fill a spot. I have never been that way and, if that was the case, then I would rather walk away. I am coming back to have an impact and hopefully I can do it this season."
Hargreaves arrived from Bayern with the tendinitis problem, but he completed around half United's games during that first season, including that famous Champions League final win over Chelsea in the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.
Little did he know he was making the injury much worse.
"Not everybody's right and people make mistakes," he said.
"Ideally they don't involve you. When they do, you aren't too happy about it. In the end I missed two full seasons for Man United. I came here with high expectations for myself.
"To not to be able to play from 27 to 29 is disappointing."
Hargreaves will not be involved against Liverpool on Sunday but Ryan Giggs is expected to return to the squad after breaking his arm at Aston Villa last month.