Craig Bryson says the injury hit start to his Aberdeen career is "massively frustrating" but hopes his fitness troubles are finally behind him.
After arriving from Derby County in the summer, an ankle injury has restricted the midfielder to only six games.
Bryson returned after five weeks as a second-half substitute during the 4-0 Scottish Premiership defeat by Celtic.
"When I signed, I was injured at the time and we tried to rush my rehab," the 32-year-old said.
"I broke down and have never really been that fit since.
"I started to feel other places in my body a wee bit because I was compensating, so hopefully now after getting 45 minutes on Sunday, I can kick on and stay injury free for a good while and help the team.''
Bryson could be in line to start in Wednesday's match away to Hamilton Academical as Aberdeen look to improve on their fifth place in the Premiership.
His team-mates have struggled in his absence, with just one win in their last four games, including heavy losses to Celtic and Rangers. Aberdeen were also knocked out of the League Cup at the quarter-final stage by Hearts after a penalty shootout.
Bryson says his injury has left him feeling powerless to help.
"When you are on the sidelines, it is hard to watch, especially when you are seeing stuff and you think that you can help and your body is letting you down," he added.
"I try to do my bit at training, try to do my bit in the changing-room to help and pass on my experience, but it is so different from being out there. You want to affect it when the game is actually going on."