Sunderland defender Michael Turner says he is edging closer to full match fitness after last month's comeback from a serious knee injury.
Turner, 28, played only five games in 11 months after the injury at home to Everton last season, but has been ever-present since his October return.
"With the games I've put in the bank I've been feeling better and better," Turner told BBC Newcastle.
"I was out for a long time and it's been a long road back."
He added: "But with more games I'm showing the form that encouraged the club to sign me."
The former Brentford and Hull City centre-half's first game back was a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light with West Bromwich Albion.
Meanwhile the absence of Titus Bramble in the Wearsiders first-team has seen Turner playing with ex-England man Wes Brown at the heart of the back-four.
Brown was a summer arrival from Manchester United and has played in every game for Steve Bruce's side so far this campaign.
"We've formed a good partnership," Turner said.
"It's getting better and better, we have a good understanding on the pitch, we know when to talk and when to just do the job.
"I'm enjoying playing alongside Wes with everything he's achieved, and he's a good addition to the squad."