Injury-hit defender Chris Riggott hopes to prove his fitness in pre-season and earn a contract at Derby County.
Riggott, 30, left Cardiff in January but has been training with the Rams.
And he told BBC Radio Derby that boss Nigel Clough has said a deal could be on the cards: "At this stage we're here to see how I do and how my back is.
"I don't want to tempt fate but it feels strong and like it has improved and the idea is to join in, play some games and sign for next season."
Rams trainee Riggott left Pride Park for Middlesbrough in 2003 and spent seven years at the Riverside.
But his spell in the North East was beset by injuries, as was a subsequent stint with Cardiff.
However, Riggott said he always hoped he would one day return to the club where he started his career.
"It feels fantastic to be around the place and potentially what might come of it is very exciting," Riggott added.
"I had an operation on my back in April and the agreement and the idea is to see how I get on during pre-season.
"Hopefully my problems are behind me and I would love to be here.
"The gaffer has been very up front and open. But the bottom line is that if I am not fit then I'm no good anywhere.
"But if I'm fit I would like to think I can help Derby.
"It feels great [to be here] and if I can play like I know I can play it'll hopefully be good for the team as well.
"It would probably be the best day of my career if I could get back in a Derby shirt and play in front of the Rams fans again."