Cape Town - Orlando Pirates forward Thabiso Kutumela admits he has taken comfort from training with the rest of the squad again after his long injury lay-off.
The 25-year-old had been sidelined since February after suffering a fractured ankle during a training session and had to undergo surgery.
Kutumela was a regular feature in Milutin Sredojevic's side before the injury brought an untimely end to his season, having scored two goals in 16 Premiership appearances.
However, the former Baroka marksman has been given the go-ahead to return to full training ahead of the new season and expressed his delight at being back in the mix.
"I am happy to be back training again. It has been a long time since I last trained with the guys, it was such a relief to be running with my boots on," he told the club's official website.
"The toughest part, however, in my recovery has always been the mental side of things but I am thankful to the medical team as well as the support that I have been getting from my family, the coaches and my team-mates."
Kutumela is expected to miss Pirates' top-flight opener against newly-promoted Highlands Park on Saturday as he needs to build up his match fitness.