Preston North End midfielder Paul Gallagher is counting down the days to the end of the international break after a frustrating time out injured.
The 31-year-old missed all five of September’s games with a damaged calf but returned to the bench for the defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
A start is likely to come his way when PNE face Cardiff a week on Saturday.
“I’m itching to get back – missing a training session is bad enough, let alone games,” Gallagher told the Evening Post.
“I got on the bench at the weekend and after a few more days training during the international break, I’ll be ready to get thrown straight back in.
“Until this last month, I hadn’t missed many games for Preston. Last season I was playing with injections in a foot injury but didn’t miss games because of it.
“Unfortunately, this injury was one I couldn’t afford to play through.
“Your calf muscles play a big part in what you do as a footballer and if you do them more damage, you’d be out for a long time.
“I’ve worked hard with our physio Matt Jackson to get back as quickly as possible but at the same time, making sure I’m properly ready.
“Jacko reckons I’ve been a good patient – he says I’m low maintenance most of time!
“It gets frustrating watching training peering round the door of the gym and it is even more annoying having to watch games from the sidelines. I got the injury in training, the Friday before we played Derby – I felt a twinge in my calf, which I had never had before.
“Straight away I thought it could be a problem but even on the Saturday morning I woke up thinking I might be able to play.
“I’ve been back training for a few days and I’ve got a programme to stop that type of injury happening again.”
Gallagher thinks the current break from action has come at a good time for PNE.
“If you are on a winning run, you just want the games to come one after the other,” said Gallagher.
“But with us being in the middle of a sticky patch, this is a chance for the gaffer to get some of the injuries cleared up and to work on a few things on the training ground.”