Fraser Forster says that he's "absolutely buzzing" to be back as the goalkeeper completed his first full training session yesterday after injury.
The England international suffered a severe knee injury in the game against Burnley in March last season and is now in the final stages of his recovery.
Speaking to Southampton's official YouTube channel, Forster said that he was "absolutely buzzing" to be back and paid tribute to the physios and medical staff at the club for their help and support.
Forster said "I’m so grateful to the physios and everyone for the work that they’ve put in over the last eight and a half months. I’m absolutely buzzing.
"I’ve been fortunate to be at a club where we’ve got great physios and great medical staff. I’m so grateful for everyone who’s helped me back. It’s been very tough but this is the reward for the hard work that we’ve put in.
"When you get injured, you realise who’s there for you very quickly and who supports you. I’ve been very fortunate to have the physios I’ve had and my family so it’s big credit to them really.
"It’s nice to be out on the pitch doing the thing that you love again. I can’t really thank those people enough. I will never forget what they did for me and who was there for me."
After completing his first full training session with the first team, the former Celtic 'keeper says that he'll need to patient and not rush the final stages of his recovery.
"I’ll have to play for the Under 21’s at some point in the New Year. I’ll work as hard as I can with Dave [Watson] and go from there.
"We’ve been patient all the way along and done everything correctly and that’s got to continue. I think it’s important we do the next bit properly as well and not rush and make sure I’m right and ready to come back when I do come back. I just need to take it day by day and see where I end up."