COLLINGWOOD veteran Tyson Goldsack returned to full training this week and is confident he has turned the corner in his ongoing battle with patella tendinitis.
The tall utility is still at least a month away from a senior recall following knee surgery last September.
Goldsack managed just 13 senior games last season because of the patella tendon problem.
"It doesn't sound like much, but from where I've come from it's a good feat and I feel pretty good now," Goldsack said.
"It's just a focus of making sure it's fully healed before we start pushing up.
"I just don't want it to have a relapse and go through it again this year.
"We took our time early days and got it right."
Goldsack said around a month ago it felt like he was swimming against the tide in his rehabilitation.
"I felt like I wasn't making any progression, and I thought, it's not getting better, but then it turned the corner and I got some really good running sessions in," Goldsack said.
"It's now just the game style and match fitness that I need to work on, so hopefully that's the end of that."
However Goldsack knows that he faces stiff competition in working his way back into Collingwood's much-improved team.
"I'm definitely not a certainty to come straight into the team," Goldsack said.
"We have a great list and the (pre-season) has shown that.
"There's a lot of depth, particularly in positions where I play."
Despite being contracted until the end of 2017, the 29-year-old said it was important for him to find continuity and become a regular fixture in the Magpies' side.
"I'm growing a bit long in the tooth - I don't have a lot of time," he said.
"So this is a year where I'd like to put everything together and have a good, consistent (season), injury free, and play some good footy.
"Collingwood make finals, Collingwood go on to win the premiership - that would be a fairytale, wouldn't it?"