Bayern München midfielder Javi Martinez has returned to training after a frustrating spell on the sidelines.
The Spain international tore a cruciate ligament, meniscus and tendons in his knee in the German Super Cup against rivals Borussia Dortmund in August 2014, and has struggled with the injury ever since.
"After my cruciate ligament tear my thighs no longer had enough strength to stabilise my knee, which led to the patellar tendon being strained," Martinez told TZ.
"After working on it with the doctors, it looks a lot better now. But I still have to be careful."
The 27-year-old World Cup winner is the club's record signing after joining the Bavarians for £29m from Athletic Bilbao in 2012, and his return to the team will be welcomed by manager Pep Guardiola.
Since suffering the long-term injury, Martinez admitted the mental aspect of not playing football was a struggle.
"You see the days go by but the knee doesn't get any better. The process is extremely long. And there were days that I thought I'd never be fit again," he continued.
"My physios reassured me and made it clear that such an injury needs time and that I would come back again."