Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says he is around two weeks away from a return to full training as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Gerrard missed the final two games of his side's 2012-13 Premier League campaign after an operation in May, with the midfielder having been troubled by his shoulder for several months.
The 33-year-old England skipper resumed light training last week as he steps up his rehabilitation, and hopes to be ready to play a full part in Liverpool's pre-season.
"It's going well and feeling strong," Gerrard told Liverpool's official website. "I'm six weeks down the line with the rehabilitation from surgery.
"I'm not too far away, maybe a couple of weeks away from contact and being back in full training if everything goes well. I'm looking forward to it.
"It's probably the longest break I've had at this time of year. Being out of the game for six weeks is enough. I'm itching to get back."
The operation forced Gerrard to sit out England's end-of-season friendlies against Ireland and Brazil, amid reports – later dismissed by Liverpool – that he was in danger of missing the start of next season.
The Reds have indicated that their medical team are satisfied with Gerrard's progress since his operation, and he is on course to play a full part for both club and country when the 2013-14 campaign kicks off.
In addition to his club commitments, Gerrard is set to play a key part in England'sWorld Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine in September.
He aims to be ready to play a part in the club's opening pre-season friendly at Preston on July 13, ahead of a three-match tour of the Far East and Australia; his testimonial is against Olympiakos at Anfield on August 3.