Injury-hit defender Jon Meades believes he can still play a big part in Oxford United's promotion push.
The Wales U21 international has yet to play for the U's since being signed from Bournemouth last summer.
An ankle ligament injury suffered in the final pre-season game eventually required an operation, but Meades is nearing a return to training.
"Hopefully I'll be back for the final third of the season to help the boys get over the finish line," he said.
Meades, who spent most of last season on loan at AFC Wimbledon, began his career at Cardiff City before joining the Cherries in 2012. He has won four caps for Wales Under-21s, the last coming against Moldova in March 2013.
The 21-year-old admitted it has been a difficult and frustrating few months.
"After getting injured against Coventry in the last pre-season game I did two months of rehab, which went really well, but when I started running I had bad pain in my ankle,"
Meades told the club website.
"I had another scan and the surgeon said part of the injury wasn't healing properly and he went in and did a quick operation, so I had to start my rehab again.
"Hopefully I'll start full training around the start of February, but I don't want to put a date on it, because obviously I've done that before.
"The squad is quite small and tight-knit, and I've felt part of it, that's the main thing. If I can get back for the final third of the season and the bigger games, hopefully I can contribute and help the boys get over the finish line and to where we want to be."